, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 157-161
Date: 14 Oct 2009

Isolation and Characterization of Moderately Halophilic Bacteria from Tunisian Solar Saltern

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Abstract

Bacterial screenings from solar saltern in Sfax (Tunisia) lead to the isolation of 40 moderately halophilic bacteria which were able to grow optimally in media with 5–15% of salt. These isolates were phylogenetically characterized using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Two groups were identified including 36 strains of Gamma-Proteobacteria (90%) and 4 strains of Firmicutes (10%). The Gamma-Proteobacteria group consisted of several subgroups of the Halomonadaceae (52.5%), the Vibrionaceae (15%), the Alteromonadaceae (10%), the Idiomarinaceae (7.5%), and the Alcanivoracaceae (5%). Moreover, three novel species: 183ZD08, 191ZA02, and 191ZA09 were found, show <97% sequence similarity of the 16S rRNA sequences while compared to previously published cultivated species. Most of these strains (70%) were able to produce hydrolases: amylases, proteases, phosphatases, and DNAases. Over the isolates, 60% produced phosphatases, 15.0% proteases, 12.5% amylases and DNAases equally. This study showed that the solar saltern of Sfax is an optimal environment for halophilic bacterial growth, where diverse viable bacterial communities are available and may have many industrial applications.