Reproduction and metabolism at -10°C of bacteria isolated from Siberian permafrost

Corlen Bakermans, Alexandre I. Tsapin, Virginia Souza-Egipsy, David A. Gilichinsky, Kenneth H. Nealson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


We report the isolation and properties of several species of bacteria from Siberian permafrost. Half of the isolates were spore-forming bacteria unable to grow or metabolize at subzero temperatures. Other Gram-positive isolates metabolized, but never exhibited any growth at -10°C. One Gram-negative isolate metabolized and grew at -10°C, with a measured doubling time of 39 days. Metabolic studies of several isolates suggested that as temperature decreased below +4°C, the partitioning of energy changes with much more energy being used for cell maintenance as the temperature decreases. In addition, cells grown at -10°C exhibited major morphological changes at the ultrastructural level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-326
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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