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Some bioengineering is investigated in high carbon dioxide environments. Are there any microbes like bacteria or Archaea capable of living and multiplying in such environments?

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    $\begingroup$ It is not speculative to ask if a microbe can live in almost pure carbon dioxide. $\endgroup$ – David Jonsson Jan 21 at 21:08
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidJonsson Thank you for the edit, it improves the question immensely. In the previous form I would have certainly agreed with Willk. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jan 21 at 21:22
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    $\begingroup$ Do you mean an atmosphere of co2/nitrogen like Earth had prior to the evolution of photosynthesis? Presumably most of the bacteria from those days would be ok with a more or less pure co2 atmosphere, at least assuming they had access to water. $\endgroup$ – user1850479 Jan 21 at 22:57
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    $\begingroup$ This is a much better question now! I think this could be even clearer if you made the 'Title' match the 'Body'. For example getting rid of the "almost pure" (which makes it sound like you're looking for something that can live on "dry ice" or in supercritical liquid CO₂) and being more specific — for example it seems like you might be interested in anoxic (oxygen free) environments ... $\endgroup$ – tyersome Jan 22 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ Also, are you only interested in organisms that are considered to be "extremophiles"? I found references to a non-extremophile that grows under Mars-like conditions ... $\endgroup$ – tyersome Jan 22 at 1:04
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These aren't technically extremophiles, but one paper identified twenty species of bacteria that grow under a low pressure, mostly CO₂ atmosphere1.

One relatively well studied species is Serratia liquefaciens (a Proteobacterium) that has been shown to grow under

low temperature (0 °C), low pressure (0.7 kPa), and anoxic, CO2-dominated atmosphere-conditions intended to simulate the near-subsurface environment of Mars2.

References:

1: Schuerger, A. C., & Nicholson, W. L. (2016). Twenty species of hypobarophilic bacteria recovered from diverse soils exhibit growth under simulated martian conditions at 0.7 kPa. Astrobiology, 16(12), 964-976.

2: Fajardo-Cavazos, P., Morrison, M. D., Miller, K. M., Schuerger, A. C., & Nicholson, W. L. (2018). Transcriptomic responses of Serratia liquefaciens cells grown under simulated Martian conditions of low temperature, low pressure, and CO 2-enriched anoxic atmosphere. Scientific reports, 8(1), 1-10.

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Capnophiles (from the Greek kapnós, meaning smoke) are organisms that thrive in the presence of high concentrations of CO2. Some of these organisms have a metabolic requirement for CO2.

Many organisms present in the cow rumen are capnophiles by necessity, as CO2 is the major gas product of rumen fermentation (66% by molarity). One such organism is Mannheimia succiniciproducens, which was shown to thrive in a pure CO2 atmosphere when compared to pure N2 and equimolar H2:CO2 --

Under N2 atmosphere, cell growth and glucose consumption rates were much lower, suggesting that M. succiniciproducens, like other capnophilic bacteria, relies on a CO2-dependent metabolism. The glycolytic flux under CO2 was four times greater than that obtained under N2.

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When H2 was present, cell growth rate and the glycolytic flux were lower. However, the relative succinic acid flux increased by 30% under CO2-H2, and the relative formation rates of ATP and NADH were higher in the presence of H2.

Some pathogens are also capnophiles, including species of Campylobacter, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Haemophilus influenzae, though ideal culture conditions for these organisms call for CO2 concentrations around 5 - 10%.

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