Archaeal organisms harbor many unique genotypic and phenotypic properties, testifying their peculiar evolutionary status. Thus, the so‐called extremophiles must be adequately adapted to cope with many extreme environments with regard to metabolic processes, biological functions, genomes, and transcriptomes to overcome the challenges of life. This chapter will illustrate recent progress in the research on extremophiles from the phylum Euryarchaeota and compile their evolutive history, metabolic strategies, lipid composition, the structural adaptations of their enzymes to temperature, salinity, and pH and their biotechnological applications. Archaeal organisms have evolved to deal with one or more extreme conditions, and over the evolution, they have accumulated changes in order to optimize protein structure and enzyme activity. The structural basis of these adaptations resulted in the construction of a vast repertoire of macromolecules with particular features not found in other organisms. This repertoire can be explored as an inexhaustible source of biological molecules for industrial or biotechnological applications. We hope that the information compiled herein will open new research lines that will shed light on various aspects of these extremophilic microorganisms. In addition, this information will be a valuable resource for future studies looking for archaeal enzymes with particular properties.
Part of the book: Archaea