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Extremophiles. 2009 Jul;13(4):643-56. doi: 10.1007/s00792-009-0247-1. Epub 2009 May 6.

Characterization of halophiles isolated from solar salterns in Baja California, Mexico.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, California State University Long Beach, CA 90840, USA.


Solar salterns are extreme hypersaline environments that are five to ten times saltier than seawater (150-300 g L(-1) salt concentration) and typically contain high numbers of halophiles adapted to tolerate such extreme hypersalinity. Thirty-five halophile cultures of both Bacteria and Archaea were isolated from the Exportadora de Sal saltworks in Guerrero Negro, Baja California, Mexico. 16S rRNA sequence analysis showed that these cultured isolates included members belonging to the Halorubrum, Haloarcula, Halomonas, Halovibrio, Salicola, and Salinibacter genera and what may represent a new archaeal genus. For the first time, metabolic substrate usage of halophile isolates was evaluated using the non-colorimetric BIOLOG Phenotype MicroArray plates. Unique carbon substrate usage profiles were observed, even for closely related Halorubrum species, with bacterial isolates using more substrates than archaeal cultures. Characterization of these isolates also included morphology and pigmentation analyses, as well as salinity tolerance over a range of 50-300 g L(-1) salt concentration. Salinity optima varied between 50 and 250 g L(-1) and doubling times varied between 1 and 12 h.

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