A total of 95 strains of moderately to extremely halophilic bacteria, either from culture collections or freshly isolated, were subjected to taxonomic analysis by the computer method. The culture collection strains were examined in the initial phase of the study, and the fresh isolates were examined later. Three major groupings of these organisms were evident: a group of rodlike halophiles, a group of halotolerant, rod-shaped bacteria, and a less morphologically homogeneous, but taxonomically distinct, cluster of halophilic cocci. The rodlike halophiles could be further subdivided into one cluster containing strains of , which, on initial isolation, are capable of growth on media containing 8% salt when incubated at elevated temperatures, and another cluster containing strains of , which have a minimum requirement for 15% salt irrespective of the temperature of incubation. NRC 34002 and NRC 34001 are proposed as the neotype strains of and , respectively. The group of halophilic cocci appeared to be less homogeneous, i.e., were less uniform in character frequency of occurrence. is judged to be the correct name for the halophilic cocci. Results of the taxonomic analyses also indicated that at least two, and perhaps three, biovars comprise . A comparative study of the halophiles and a sample of 48 strains of halotolerant streptococci, staphylococci, and micrococci did not reveal any significant interrelationships. The moderate halophiles included in this analysis appear to be taxonomically distinct from the extreme halophiles. Results of lipid and pigment analyses accumulated for the halophilic bacteria support the taxonomic conclusions.


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