Conversion of energy in halobacteria: ATP synthesis and phototaxis
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- Bickel-Sandkötter, S., Gärtner, W. & Dane, M. Arch Microbiol (1996) 166: 1. doi:10.1007/s002030050349
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Halobacteria are aerobic chemo-organotroph archaea that grow optimally between pH 8 and 9 using a wide range of carbon sources. These archaea have developed alternative processes of energy provision for conditions of high cell densities and the reduced solubility of molecular oxygen in concentrated brines. The halobacteria can switch to anaerobic metabolism by using an alternative final acceptor in the respiratory chain or by fermentation, or alternatively, they can employ photophosphorylation. Light energy is converted by several retinal-containing membrane proteins that, in addition to generating a proton gradient across the cell membrane, also make phototaxis possible in order to approach optimal light conditions. The structural and functional features of ATP synthesis in archaea are discussed, and similarities to F-ATPases (functional aspects) or vacuolar ATPases (structural aspects) are presented.