Heliorestis convoluta sp. nov., a coiled, alkaliphilic heliobacterium from the Wadi El Natroun, Egypt
A morphologically distinct heliobacterium, strain HH, was isolated from Lake El Hamra, a soda lake in the Wadi El Natroun region of northwest Egypt. Strain HH consisted of ring-shaped cells that remained attached after cell division to yield coils of various lengths. Strain HH showed several of the physiological properties of known heliobacteria and grouped in the Heliorestis clade by virtue of its phylogeny and alkaliphily. The closest relative of strain HH was the filamentous alkaliphilic heliobacterium Heliorestis daurensis. However, genomic DNA:DNA hybridization results clearly indicated that strain HH was a distinct species of Heliorestis. Based on its unique phenotypic and genetic properties we describe strain HH here as a new species of the genus Heliorestis, H. convoluta sp. nov.
KeywordsAnoxygenic phototrophic bacteria Heliobacteria Heliorestis Akaliphiles Wadi El Natroun Soda lakes
This work was supported in part by US National Science Foundation grant MCB 0237576. We thank Prof. Aharon Oren, Hebrew University Jerusalem, for nomenclatural advice. We also thank Profs. Ahmed Shoreit (Assiut University, Egypt) and M.S.A. Shabeb (Aswan University, Egypt) for funding the field trip and escorting MTM into the field. We also thank an anonymous Bedouin farmer whose land lay adjacent to Lake El Hamra for help in gaining access to and sampling this habitat.
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