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Thermus aquaticus

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A gram-negative thermophilic bacterium involved in the process known as the polymerase chain reaction, a technique used to amplify a single DNA by enzymatic replication.


Thermus aquaticus has a cell wall that contains much less peptidoglycan that appears to be either in rod or short filaments formed into a linear pattern and when exposed to sunlight it exhibits a yellow, pink or red color due to its pigmentation having either flagella or immotile. It has a three layered membrane consists of an inner plasma membrane, an intermediate and rougher outer layer.

Thermus aquaticus inhabits at very high temperature usually above 45’C and has been first isolated in hot spring of Yellowstone National Park California. It is become useful in the field of biotechnology since its enzyme Taq polymerase is used in polymerase chain reactions (PCR) because this bacterium generates an enzymes that is well-suited for the repetitive heating involved in PCR and it will not denature the fact that it is resistance to heat is an adaptation to its environment utilized in PCR including enzyme production, fingerprinting and medical diagnosis.

Thermus aquaticus is heterotrophic and requires organic compounds including algal-bacterial mat, chemoautotrophs and soil from the environment in order to grow and survive. It reproduces asexually through mitosis just like the life cycle of other bacteria.

Scientific classification:

Domain: Bacteria

Phylum: Deinococcus-Thermus

Class: Deinococci

Order: Thermales

Genus: Thermus

Species: Thermus aquaticus

See also:

• Thermophiles

• Polymerase chain reaction

• Taq polymerase