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Extremohpiles: Alkaliphiles

Year 11 Biology

Biology Online

An alkaliphile is an organism that can live and thrive in an alkaline environment, i.e. with pH ranging from 8.5 to 11. Examples of an alkaline environment are the Soda Lake in Carrizo Plain National Monument, California, the Octopus Spring located in Yellowstone National Park, and the Mono Lake in California’s Eastern Sierra. Carbonate-rich soils are also a typical habitat of alkaliphiles.

Microbial Life

Cells face many challenges in an alkaline environment. Of greatest significance is the ability to maintain internal pH. If cells are to survive in an alkaline environment, they must make their cytoplasm more acidic to buffer the alkalinity.


An alkaliphile is an organism that thrives in a high alkaline environment, typically with a pH greater than 7.5. Such organisms have developed adaptations to survive and grow in these conditions, which are often toxic to most life forms. Alkaliphiles are found in a variety of environments, including hot springs, soda lakes, and certain soils.

Biology Professor (Twitter: @DrWhitneyHolden) describes the 3 classifications of bacteria based on pH preferences, including acidophiles, neutrophiles, and alkaliphiles.

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Science Direct

Alkaliphiles are organisms that grow at high pH values. They adapt themselves by maintaining cytoplasmic pH homeostasis and uptake of H+ using electrogenic, secondary cation/proton antiporters



Open access to scientific reports on alkaliphiles.