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Environ Microbiol. 1999 Dec;1(6):517-23.

Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of the prokaryotic community inhabiting crystallizer ponds.

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Departamento de Biotecnología, Universidad de Alicante, San Vicente del Raspeig, Spain.


A fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) protocol suitable for the identification of prokaryotes inhabiting hypersaline environments was developed and applied to several crystallizer ponds with salinities above 36% from a multipond solar saltern in Alicante, Spain. Two morphotypes were abundant in these environments: rods and square or square-like prokaryotes that could be affiliated to Bacteria and Archaea, respectively, by FISH with domain-specific probes. FISH with a newly designed probe proved that the archaeal 16S rDNA sequence most frequently recovered from the crystallizers, SPhT, originated from the dominant square-like prokaryotes. These uncultured prokaryotes have the morphology of Walsby's square bacteria. Additionally, FISH with a probe targeted to the genus Haloarcula, members of which are frequently isolated from this environment, indicated that this genus accounts for less than 0.1% of the total prokaryotic community.

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