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A systematic strain selection approach for halotolerant and halophilic bioprocess development: a review


Halotolerant and halophilic microorganisms have potential applications in a number of very relevant environmental and industrial bioprocesses, from wastewater treatment to production of value-added chemicals. While numerous microbial strains have been identified and studied in the literature, the number of those successfully used in industrial applications is comparatively small. Literature is abundant in terms of characterisation of specific strains under a microbiology perspective; however, there is a need for studies tackling the selection of strains for bioprocess applications. This review presents a database of over 200 halophilic and halotolerant prokaryote strains compiled from taxonomic microbiological resources and classified by trophic groups as well as by their salinity, pH and temperature tolerance and optimum ranges, all under a process development perspective. In addition to this database, complementary systematic approaches for the selection of suitable strains for a given trophic activity and environmental conditions are also presented. Both the database and the proposed selection approaches together constitute a general tool for process development that allows researchers to systematically search for strains capable of specific substrate degradations under specific conditions (pH, T, salinity). Many exiting established halotolerant and halophilic environmental and industrial bioprocesses appear to have been developed following strategies in line with the systematic approaches proposed here.

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Conditions-to-Microorganisms approach for strain selection


Microorganisms-to-Substrates approach for strain selection




Substrates-to-Conditions approach for strain selection


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The authors would like to acknowledge the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and the Government of Abu Dhabi for their support as well as the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC) for the funding provided.

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Correspondence to Jorge Rodríguez.

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Uratani, J.M., Kumaraswamy, R. & Rodríguez, J. A systematic strain selection approach for halotolerant and halophilic bioprocess development: a review. Extremophiles 18, 629–639 (2014).

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  • Strain selection
  • Halophiles
  • Extremophiles in biotechnology
  • Industrial applications