Adoption Center

Take a moment to read the bio's and see our little cuties' pictures-- when you think you're ready to adopt one, remember the name and click "Adopt Me Here!" Have fun!


Alcanivorax borkumensis: Adopt Me Here!

Alcanivorax borkumensis is a helpful microbe that can eat oil and hydrocarbons in the presence of oxygen.  Although it is well known from chomping on hydrocarbons in oil spills, it was first isolated from sediments of the North Sea, where lots of oil and gas wells are located.  Alcanivorax is looking for a new home in an oily environment - anybody on the Gulf Coast interested?
Image courtesy of American Society of Microbiology and Heinrich Luensdorf, HZI Braunschweig)

Archaeoglobus fulgidus: Adopt Me Here!

 This is Archaeoglobus fulgidus, an archaeote who can be found causing trouble in steamy and stinky hydrothermal vents and deep ocean oil wells.  Archaeoglobus likes to eat sulfate, making hydrogen sulfide as a waste product, and this sulfide contributes to the rotten egg smell found at hydrothermal vents and oil wells.  Archaeoglobus is looking for a new home at hot temperatures (75 Celsius/165 Fahrenheit). 
Image courtesy MicrobeWiki  and Nature Magazine.

Arcobacter sulfidicus is like a little hotdog with 4 tails, swimming around looking for sulfide and oxygen to eat.  It happily lives around hydrothermal vents at the seafloor, so it likes warm temperatures.
Image courtesy of Dr. Craig Smith, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


Beggiatoa spp.: Adopt me Here!

Beggiatoa bacteria love stinky sulfide, which they eat with abandon while living on marine sediments.  Beggiatoa make string-like filaments which are visible to the naked eye, in white, orange and pink.  Beggiatoa form thick 'mats' on the sediment surface in areas with high sulfide - such at hydrothermal vents and marine cold seeps.
Image courtesy of MicrobeWiki and Microbial Diversity 1997 (Rolf Schauder).

Desulfovibrio desulfuricans: Adopt Me Here!

Meet Desulfovibrio desulfuricans, another sulfate eating microbe like Archaeoglobus.  Unlike Archaeoglobus, Desulfovibrio is a bacterium (not an archaeote), but they both generate stinky hydrogen sulfide as a waste product.  Desulfovibrio likes to live in muddy environments at the seafloor, but it definitely does not like to live around oxygen (it's an anaerobe!).  This bacterium can also eat nitrate and metals like iron and chromium, so it has become popular as a potential 'bioremediator' of toxic sites.
Image courtesy of MicrobeWiki and the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory.

Marinobacter aquaeolei: Adopt Me Here!

Marinobacter aquaeolei is a versatile microbe that lives in deep water and ocean oil wells, swimming around in search of something to eat.  Marinobacter loves to eat iron, forming rust as a waste product.  Sometimes Marinobacter forms sticky, slimy biofilms, and they can also eat hydrocarbons.

Mariprofundus ferrooxydans: Adopt Me Here!

Mariprofundus ferrooxydans is a fancy-pants microbe.  The microbe itself is shaped like a kidney bean, but as it grows, eating iron and oxygen, it produces beautiful twisted ribbons of rust.
Photo courtesy Clara Chan


Methanocaldococcus jannaschii: Adopt Me Here!

Methanocaldococcus jannaschii is a microbe that loves hot hot heat.  It can be found in hydrothermal vents at the seafloor, happily making a living making methane gas from eating carbon dioxide and hydrogen.  To us, it lives in an 'extreme' environment - water that is slightly acidic and near boiling - so it is very popular among scientists that are curious about how life can survive under such harsh conditions.
Image courtesy of MicrobeWiki and UC Berkley Electron Microscope Lab.

Methanopyrus kandleri: Adopt Me Here!

Methanopyrus kandleri is one of the hottest microbes on the market, capable of living in near boiling water.  Methanopyrus eats hydrogen and carbon dioxide and makes methane.

Photo courtesy of MicrobeWiki, copyright K.O. Stetter and R. Rachel, Univ. Regensburg, Germany

Photobacterium profundum: Adopt Me Here!

Although its name implies a life in the sun, Photobacterium profundum originated from dark deep sea sediments off of the coast of Japan - in the absence of sunlight!  Photobacterium is a microbe that is loved by many scientists because of its ability to grow at really high pressures (up to 70 MPa!).  It can eat nitrate plus a variety of sugars and other carbon compounds to get energy.

Image courtesy of MicrobeWiki and

Shewanella loihica: Adopt Me Here!

Members of the Shewanella family are very versatile, capable of eating a bunch of different things like iron, manganese, and nitrate and oxygen to get energy.  S. loihica originated from an iron-rich hydrothermal vent at the Loihi Seamount, an underwater volcano off of the coast of the big island of Hawaii.  Even though S. loihica was found at a hydrothermal vent, it also likes to live at cold temperatures down around freezing.  Sometimes Shewanella makes fantastic little nanowires that are used to help the microbe get energy.

Image courtesy of Rizlan Bencheikh and Bruce Arey and New Scientists, and it's actually of S. oneidensis instead of S. loihica :)

Thiomargarita namibiensis: Adopt Me Here!

Thiomargarita namibiensis is very proud to be the largest bacterium known to man - sizing up at 1 millimeter in diameter, which is visible to the naked eye!  Its name means 'sulfur pearl of Namibia' because of the white color of the concentrated sulfur pockets inside its spherical body.  Thiomargarita was discovered in stinky sulfidic sediments off the coast of (surprise!) Namibia, and it stores the sulfide inside its body for food.  The vast majority of Thiomargarita's body consists of a bladder filled with nitrate, which is also used for food.  Thiomargarita is looking for a happy home in rotten egg-smelling deep sea sediments!

Image courtesy of MicrobeWiki and Oceanus Online Magazine

This is Desulforudis audaxviator, a hardy microbe that lives deep down in mines in South Africa.  Learn more here.