1887

Abstract

The authors have previously isolated a novel extremely halophilic archaeon, BIp, from Austrian rock salt deposited about 250 million years ago. In this study they compared strain BIp with two other halococci isolated independently from geographically distant salt deposits of similar age, and with two recent isolates (N1 and H2) from the same site as strain Blp. Strain BG2/2 was from a salt mine in Germany and strain Br3 from a halite deposit in England; both resembled BIp in cellular and colonial morphology. Strains BIp, BG2/2 and Br3 had identical 16S rRNA sequences, very similar whole-cell protein patterns, which were different from those of other halococci, similar G+C contents and identical sequences in a 108-base insertion in their 5S rRNA gene. Other similarities included composition and relative abundances of polar lipids, antibiotic susceptibility, enzymic activities and Fourier-transform infrared spectra. Strains N1 and H2 showed similar morphology, whole-cell protein patterns and biochemical characteristics as strains BIp, Br3 and BG2/2. Their partial 16S rRNA sequences (682 and 641 bases, respectively) were indistinguishable from those of strains BIp, Br3 and BG2/2. Therefore strains N1 and H2 can be considered as reisolates of which were obtained 8 years after the first samples were taken from that mine. The results presented suggest that viable halophilic archaea, which belong to the same species, occur in widely separated evaporite locations of similar geological age, and support the notion that these halophilic isolates from subterranean salt deposits may be the remnants of populations which inhabited ancient hypersaline seas.

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1999-12-01
2020-01-28
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