When bacteria live in boiling hot
temperature what features might the fatty acid tails of the
phospholipids have that help
stabilize the membranes at such extreme temperatures?
I don't know the exact answer to this question though
it is easy to find out, for instance look at this
publication on fatty acid content of thermophiles: (J
Bacteriol 1982 Jan;149(1):54-8).
My guess is that the longer the chains, the more
'solid' the membrane becomes which is to be preferred
at higher temperatures. I also guess that side-linkage
would increase the solidity further. A search in
PubMed will probably get you to the information you
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Update: June 2012