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Extremohpiles: Halophiles

Year 11 Biology


Halophiles are organisms that are adapted to grow in high-salt environments, with a salt concentration that is often greater than that of seawater. These organisms can be found in a variety of habitats, including salt lakes, salt pans, and salt mines, and they have developed unique adaptations to cope with the challenges of living in high-salt conditions, such as specialized enzymes and mechanisms to maintain the balance of ions in their cells. Some halophiles are also capable of using salt as a source of energy.

Biology Online

A halophile is an organism that lives in an environment that has a high salinity such as ocean and solid salt crystals. Halophiles are found thriving in habitats with a high concentration of salt, such as in the Great Salt Lake in Utah and Owens Lake in California.



Life in a Pinch of Salt - The Extreme World of Halophilic Microorganisms with David R Clark (University of Essex). This talk was part of the International Microorganism Day 2020.

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Open access to scientific reports on halophiles

Science Direct

Extremophiles are organisms which inhabit environments characterized by properties harsh enough to hinder the survival of common cells. They are highly diversified and are classified on the basis of the main extreme property that prevails in the habitat. 

Microbiology Society

Earth is full of extreme environments. The poles boast temperatures below -40 degrees Celsius; the deep trenches of the oceans inflict pressures a thousand times higher than at sea level; and deep-sea hydrothermal vents belch out sulphur and carbon dioxide, heating the surrounding water up to 450 degrees Celsius. Despite the extreme conditions, microbes have found ways to adapt to these niche environments.