Two extremely halophilic archaea, strains Al-5 and K-1, were isolated from Lake Tebenquiche (Atacama Saltern, Chile) and Ezzemoul sabkha (Algeria), respectively. Cells of the two strains were short-rod-shaped and Gram-negative; colonies were orange-pigmented. They grew optimally at 37–40 °C and pH 7.0–7.5 in the presence of 25 % (w/v) NaCl. Magnesium was not required. Polar lipid analysis revealed the presence of phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylglycerophosphate methyl ester, the absence of phosphatidylglycerosulfate, and the presence of sulfated diglycosyl diether and diether diglycosyl as the sole glycolipids. DNA G+C contents of strains Al-5 and K-1 were 52.4 and 52.9 mol% ( method), respectively. 16S rRNA gene sequence comparison with database sequences showed that strains Al-5 and K-1 were most closely related to DSM 12286 (similarities of 97.5 and 96.9 %, respectively). DNA–DNA hybridization indicated that strains Al-5 and K-1 were members of a single species. However, DNA–DNA relatedness to was 55.7±2.5 %. A comparative analysis of phenotypic characteristics and DNA–DNA hybridization between the isolates and DSM 12286 supported the conclusion that Al-5 and K-1 represent a novel species within the genus , for which the name sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is Al-5 (=CECT 7257=DSM 19301).


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