Author(s): Bowers KJ, Wiegel J
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Archaeal microorganisms that grow optimally at Na(+) concentrations of 1.7 M, or the equivalent of 10\% (w/v) NaCl, and greater are considered to be extreme halophiles. This review encompasses extremely halophilic archaea and their growth characteristics with respect to the correlation between the extent of alkaline pH and elevated temperature optima and the extent of salt tolerance. The focus is on poly-extremophiles, i.e., taxa growing optimally at a Na(+) concentration at or above 1.7 M (approximately 10\% w/v NaCl); alkaline pH, at or above 8.5; and elevated temperature optima, at or above 50°C. So far, only a very few extreme halophiles that are able to grow optimally under alkaline conditions as well as at elevated temperatures have been isolated. The distribution of extremely halophilic archaea growing optimally at 3.4 M Na(+) (approximately 20\% w/v NaCl) is bifurcated with respect to pH optima, either they are neutrophilic, with a pH(opt) of approximately 7, or strongly alkaliphilic, with pH(opt) at or above 8.5. Amongst these extreme halophiles which have elevated pH optima, only four taxa have an optimum temperature above 50°C: Haloarcula quadrata (52°C), Haloferax elongans (53°C), Haloferax mediterranei (51°C) and Natronolimnobius 'aegyptiacus' (55°C).
This article was published in Extremophiles
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology