Ferroplasma cyprexacervatum

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A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Ferroplasma cyprexacervatum


Domain - Archae;; Phylum- Euryarchaeota; Class -Thermoplasmata; Order; family-Ferroplasmaceae; genus - Ferroplasma; species-F. F. cyprexacervatum. [Others may be used. Use NCBI link to find]

Description and significance

Describe the disease caused by this organism if it is a pathogen, or the natural macroscopic "field guide" appearance and habitat of your organism if it is not. What is or has been the impact your organism on human history or our environment?. How does it do this? How have we harnessed this power, or tried to prevent it? In other words, how do you know it if you see it, and how does its presence influence humans in the present, and historically?

Ferroplasma cyprexacervatum is non-motile pleomorphic cocci, capable of chemomixotrophic growth with ferrous sulfate and yeast extract. It aids in the recovery of base metals from mineral ores and concentrates. F. cyprexacervatum is also important in bioleaching. In Bio-leaching they are becoming more important because they are a better alternative to thermal processes, which create a large amount of pollutants. They have made major contributions to the serious pollution problems characterizing mining sites and their associated rivers and groundwaters. It has considerable biotechnological potential for biomining applications. It is the source of new extremophilic enzymes and other biological products relevant to biotechnology.

Genome structure

Describe the size and content of the genome. How many chromosomes and plasmids? Circular or linear? Other interesting features? What is known about its sequence? The genome of Ferroplasma cyprexacervatum has not yet been sequenced

Cell structure, metabolism & life cycle

Provide a physical and biochemical description of the organism. What kind of organism is it, what does it look like, how is it built, what are its metabolic properties, how can it be identified, what is it's life cycle, &c. In other words, describe the organism from its perspective.

Ferroplasma cyprexacervatum do not have a cellwall but they have tetraether lipids with at least three core lipid structures. During exponential phase, the cells are pleomorphic in shape and are 0.4-0.9 um in length. Sulfides exposed to air and water undergo oxidative dissolution by the reaction FeS2 + 14Fe3+ + 8H2O → 15Fe2+ +2SO42- + 16H+. By producing Fe3+, Ferroplasma cyprexacervatum is able to drive this reaction forward, oxidizing FeS2. Ferroplasma cyprexacervatum grows from 14 degrees C to 63 degrees C, with an optimum temperature of 55.2 degrees C. The optimal pH for growth is 1.0 - 1.2.

Ecology (including pathogenesis)

Describe its habitat, symbiosis, and contributions to environment. If it is a pathogen, how does this organism cause disease? Human, animal, plant hosts? Describe virulence factors and patient symptoms.

Ferroplasma isolateshave been found growing in microbial community at Myanmar bioleach heaps and also in Chile and Australia. It is capable of growing chemoorganotrophically on yeast extract or a range of sugars and chemomixotrophically on ferrous iron and yeast extract or sugars, and isolate. It is a facultative anaerobe, coupling chemoorganotrophic growth on yeast extract to the reduction of ferric iron.

Interesting feature

Describe in detail one particularly interesting aspect of your organism or it's affect on humans or the environment. An interesting feature about this organism is it oxidizes sulfides which releases metals. As such they are very useful in mining and are harmless to the environment compared to other mechanical and chemical forms of mining. They also do not have a cell wall, which allows them to be tolerant to acidic habitats.


[Sample reference] Takai, K., Sugai, A., Itoh, T., and Horikoshi, K. "Palaeococcus ferrophilus gen. nov., sp. nov., a barophilic, hyperthermophilic archaeon from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimney". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2000. Volume 50. p. 489-500. Cavicchioli, Ricardo. Archaea Molecular and Cellular Biology. Washington, DC: ASM, 2007. P. 61,62 Print.

Hawkes R., P. Franzmann, and J. Plumbb. "Microbiology of an Industrial-scale Chalcocite Heap Bioleaching Operation." Microbiology of an Industrial-scale Chalcocite Heap Bioleaching Operation 6 (2004): 11-17. Print.