A procedure for the specific enrichment and isolation of species of the genus Halobacterium was designed, based on the ability of Halobacterium cells to grow anaerobically by fermentation of l-arginine. None of the other genera of neutrophilic halophilic Archaea tested grew fermentatively on arginine. Using anaerobic enrichments in the presence of arginine, representatives of the genus Halobacterium were consistently isolated from saltern crystallizer ponds in Eilat (Israel) and San Francisco Bay (California), environments in which Halobacterium represents only a very small fraction of the halophilic archaeal community. Copyright (C) 1999 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the Israel Salt Company, Eilat and the Cargill Solar Salt Plant, Newark, CA, for enabling access to their saltern ponds, and Ronald S. Oremland (United States Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA) for the use of laboratory facilities. Halobacterium salinarum strain NRC 817 was a gift from R.F. Shand (Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ). This study was supported by grant no. 95-00027 from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF, Jerusalem).
- Anaerobic growth