Biology of moderately halophilic aerobic bacteria

Antonio Ventosa*, Joaquín J. Nieto, Aharon Oren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1110 Scopus citations


The moderately halophilic heterotrophic aerobic bacteria form a diverse group of microorganisms. The property of halophilism is widespread within the bacterial domain. Bacterial halophiles are abundant in environments such as salt lakes, saline soils, and salted food products. Most species keep their intracellular ionic concentrations at low levels while synthesizing or accumulating organic solutes to provide osmotic equilibrium of the cytoplasm with the surrounding medium. Complex mechanisms of adjustment of the intracellular environments and the properties of the cytoplasmic membrane enable rapid adaptation to changes in the salt concentration of the environment. Approaches to the study of genetic processes have recently been developed for several moderate halophiles, opening the way toward an understanding of haloadaptation at the molecular level. The new information obtained is also expected to contribute to the development of novel biotechnological uses for these organisms.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)504-544
Number of pages41
JournalMicrobiology and Molecular Biology Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1998


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