Effect of growth temperature and growth phase on the lipid composition of the archaeal membrane from Thermococcus kodakaraensis

Yasuhiko Matsuno, Akihiko Sugai, Hiroki Higashibata, Wakao Fukuda, Katsuaki Ueda, Ikuko Uda, Itaru Sato, Toshihiro Itoh, Tadayuki Imanaka, Shinsuke Fujiwara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Archaea have unique membrane lipids typified by ether linkages of the glycerol-to-isoprenoid chains with sn-2,3 stereochemistry that runs against the naturally occurring sn-1,2 stereochemistry of the glycerophospholipids of Bacteria and Eukarya. Membrane lipids were extracted and analyzed from the hyperthermophilic archaeon, Thermococcus kodakaraensis, cultivated at various temperatures. At all growth temperatures examined, both the diphytanylglycerol diether (archaeol, C20) and diphytanyldiglycerol tetraether (caldarchaeol, C40) were identified as saturated forms, and no other lipids could be identified. The ratio of caldarchaeol to archaeol increased with increasing growth temperature, particularly at 93°C. A larger amount of archaeol was detected from cells in the logarithmic phase than from those in the stationary phase at all temperatures examined. These results indicate that T. kodakaraensis modulated the membrane lipid composition depending on both the growth phase and the growth temperature, and suggest that the membrane fluidity to environmental change was maintained by altering the length of the hydrocarbon chains, and not by side-chain saturation such as double-bond hydrogenation nor by such a modification as cyclopentane ring formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-108
Number of pages5
JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Archaea
  • Growth-phase dependence
  • Growth-temperature dependence
  • Membrane lipid
  • Thermococcus kodakaraensis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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