Casanueva, A., Tuffin, M., Cary, C. & Cowan, D.A. (2010). Molecular adaptations to psychrophily: the impact of ‘omic’ technologies. Trends in Microbiology, published online on 18 June 2010.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4094
The ability of cold-adapted microorganisms (generally referred to as psychrophiles) to survive is the result of molecular evolution and adaptations which, together, counteract the potentially deleterious effects of low kinetic energy environments and the freezing of water. These physiological adaptations are seen at many levels. Against a background of detailed comparative protein structural analyses, the recent surge of psychrophile proteome, genome, metagenome and transcriptome sequence data has triggered a series of sophisticated analyses of changes in global protein composition. These studies have revealed consistent and statistically robust changes in amino acid composition, interpreted as evolutionary mechanisms designed to destabilise protein structures, as well as identifying the presence of novel genes involved in cold adaptation.