Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 166, Issue 1, pp 1–11

Conversion of energy in halobacteria: ATP synthesis and phototaxis

  • S. Bickel-Sandkötter
  • Wolfgang Gärtner
  • Michaela Dane

DOI: 10.1007/s002030050349

Cite this article as:
Bickel-Sandkötter, S., Gärtner, W. & Dane, M. Arch Microbiol (1996) 166: 1. doi:10.1007/s002030050349


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.

Key words ArchaeaHalobacteriaEnergytransductionRetinal proteinProton gradientNitratereductaseATPaseAdaptation

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Bickel-Sandkötter
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Gärtner
    • 3
  • Michaela Dane
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Biochemie der Pflanzen, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Universitätsstrasse 1, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany Tel. +49-211-81-12381, Fax +49-211-81-13706DE
  2. 2.Analisis Clinicos, Calle Convento 39, E-03560 Campello, Alicante, SpainES
  3. 3.Max-Planck-Institut für Strahlenchemie, Stiftstrasse 34–36, D-45470 Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany Fax +49-208-306-3951DE