2023 22 B1

BIOL446: Aquificales Withstand Extreme Hydrothermal Conditions using Reverse Gyrase and DNA exchange

By: Sammi Kwong

Department: Biology

Faculty Advisor: Dr. José R. De La Torre

Aquificales represent one of the earliest branches within the bacterial domain to have the highest growth temperatures. DNA transfer appears to have a significant effect on thermophilic and hyperthermophilic bacteria when living in extremely hot conditions. To maintain its DNA structure and prevent damage from heat stress, transferring DNA is crucial in hyperthermophilic bacteria. Transformation, transduction, and conjugation are the main mechanisms of transferring DNA in bacteria. In addition, reverse gyrase played an important role in increasing DNA stability. Reverse gyrase consists of helicase and type I topoisomerase and introduces positive supercoiling into DNA. The enzyme is known to be found exclusively in hyperthermophiles. Different mechanisms in DNA exchange and reverse gyrase may be the reason why hyperthermophilic Aquificales thrive and adapt to extreme environments.