Taxonomic characterization of Haloferax sp. ("H. alicantei") strain Aa 2.2: description of Haloferax lucentensis sp. nov.
Abstract. An extremely halophilic archaeon, previously named as Haloferax sp. strain Aa 2.2 or "Haloferax alicantei" that has been extensively used for genetic studies with halobacteria, was taxonomically characterized by using phenotypic tests (including morphological, physiological, biochemical and nutritional features), DNA-DNA hybridization and 16S rRNA sequence phylogenetic analysis. This organism was isolated in 1986 by Torreblanca et al. from a pond of a Spanish saltern located in Alicante. The cells were pleomorphic, Gram negative and grew optimally at 25% NaCl. The polar lipid composition was similar to that of species of the genus Haloferax. The DNA G+C content of this strain was 64.5 mol%. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA sequence comparison confirmed that this archaeon is a member of the genus Haloferax and was most closely related to Haloferax volcanii. DNA-DNA hybridization between strain Aa 2.2 and the type strain of all named species of the genus Haloferax revealed low levels of relatedness (25–2%), supporting the placement of this organism in a new species. On the basis of the phenotypic characteristics, molecular data and phylogenetic analysis we propose to name strain Aa 2.2 as a new species, Haloferax lucentensis sp. nov. The type strain is Aa 2.2 (=JCM 9276=NCIMB 13854=CIP 107410=DSM 14919=CECT 5871=CCM 7023).
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