Hyperthermophiles, growing optimally at 80°C and above were first discovered in 1981. They represent the upper temperature border of life and are found within water-containing terrestrial and submarine environments of active volcanism and geothermally heated subterranean rocks. The energy-yielding reactions represent mainly anaerobic and aerobic types of respiration rather than fermentation. Within the ss (single-stranded) rRNA phylogenetic tree, hyperthermophiles occupy all of the short deep branches closest to the root. Members of the deepest branch-offs are represented by the newly found Nanoarchaeota and Korarchaeota.
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