Thermophile

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thermophile

[′thər·mə‚fzīl]
(biology)
An organism that thrives at high temperatures.

Thermophile

 

an organism that lives at temperatures above 45°C, a situation that is lethal to most living things. Thermophiles include certain fish, invertebrates (worms, insects, and mollusks), microorganisms (protozoans, bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, and algae), pteridophytes, and flowering plants. They inhabit hot springs, where the temperature reaches 70°C, thermal waters, the upper layers of soil intensely heated by the sun, and piles of organic matter (moist hay, grain, peat, or manure) heated as a result of the vital activities of thermogenic bacteria.

Thermophiles, in the broad sense of the word, include inhabitants of the tropics (except for ocean depths and high-mountain regions), saprophytes, and parasites of homeothermic (warmblooded) animals with body temperatures of 35°–40°C. Some thermophiles found at temperate and high latitudes may be considered relicts of warmer eras, when they were widely distributed.

REFERENCES

Imshenetskii, A. A. Mikrobiologicheskie protsessy pri vysokikh temperaturakh. Moscow-Leningrad, 1944.
Mishustin, E. N., and V. T. Emtsev. Mikrobiologiia. Moscow, 1970.
Genkel’, P. A. Mikrobiologiia s osnovami virusologii. Moscow, 1974.