About this Research Topic
The research of Extreme microbiology has become increasingly vigorous in the past few decades. Recently, research reports on polyextremophiles that are microorganisms living in multiple extreme environments are increasing.
Dr. Koki Horikoshi, who was one of the founders of the International Society for Extremophiles (ISE) and served as the first president of ISE, passed away on March 16, 2016. Dr. Horikoshi leaves a strong legacy of extremophiles research not only in Japan but worldwide. He devoted his life to understand the secrets of the survival of microorganisms under extreme conditions. He is famous for rediscovering alkaline microorganisms (alkaliphiles) and successfully industrializing enzymes produced by alkaliphiles. The encounter between Dr. Horikoshi and alkaliphiles dates back to Florence, Italy in the autumn of 1968. At the end of October 1968, he visited Florence, Italy, and saw the Renaissance buildings, a style of architecture utterly different from that of Japan. He thought that “no Japanese in the 14th and 15th centuries could have imagined this Renaissance flowering on the other side of the world. There could be a whole new world of microorganisms in different unexpected cultures. Could there be an entirely unknown domain of microorganisms existing at alkaline pH?”
He came up with an idea to research bacteria living in alkaline environments. Then he returned to Japan and succeeded in promoting research on alkaliphilic microorganisms and making great progress. Next year, 2018 is the 50th Anniversary Year since the rediscovery of alkaliphiles by Dr. Koki Horikoshi. Meanwhile, research on alkaliphilic microorganisms has made great progress in basic and applied aspects. Up to 2000 research papers on alkaliphilic microorganisms have so far become a big field among extremophiles.
At this time, we decided to honor Dr. Horikoshi and publish the state-of-the-art research on alkaliphilic microorganisms as a Research Topic. We are hoping to recruit posts from many researchers involved in alkaliphiles research and publish a Research Topic on extreme microbiology at the forefront.
Keywords: Alkaliphiles, polyextremophiles, origin of life, Industrial enzymes, alkaline environmental adaptation mechanisms
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