Halosimplex carlsbadense gen. nov., sp. nov., a unique halophilic archaeon, with three 16S rRNA genes, that grows only in defined medium with glycerol and acetate or pyruvate
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A halophilic archaeon has been isolated from unsterilized salt crystals taken from the 250-million-year-old Salado formation in southeastern New Mexico. This microorganism grows only on defined media supplemented with either a combination of acetate and glycerol, glycerol and pyruvate, or pyruvate alone. The archaeon is unable to grow on complex media or to use carbohydrates, amino acids, fats, proteins, or nucleic acids for growth. Unlike other halophilic microbes, this organism possesses four glycolipids, two of which may be novel. The microbe is unique in that it has three dissimilar 16S rRNA genes. Two of the three genes show only 97% similarity to one another, while the third gene possesses only 92%–93% similarity to the other two. Inferred phylogenies indicate that the organism belongs to a deep branch in the line of Haloarcula and Halorhabdus. All three lines of taxonomic evidence: phenotype, lipid patterns, and phylogeny, support creation of a new genus and species within the halophilic Archaea. The name suggested for this new genus and species is Halosimplex carlsbadense. The type strain is 2–9-1T (= ATCC BAA-75 and JCM 11222) as written in the formal description.
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