Nicotine has a profound influence on the carotenoid metabolism in halophilic Archaea of the class Halobacteria. In a study of Halobacterium salinarum, Haloarcula marismortui and Halorubrum sodomense, using different analytical techniques to monitor the production of different carotenoids as a function of the presence of nicotine, we showed that the formation of α-bacterioruberin was inhibited in all. In Hbt. salinarum, addition of nicotine led to a significant change in the color of the culture due to the accumulation of lycopene, in addition to the formation of bisanhydrobacterioruberin which does not differ in color from α-bacterioruberin. Very little or no lycopene was formed in Har. marismortui and in Hrr. sodomense; instead bisanhydrobacterioruberin was the only major carotenoid found in nicotine-amended cultures. The findings are discussed in the framework of the recently elucidated biochemical pathway for the formation of the different carotenoid pigments encountered in the Halobacteria.
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Acknowledgements We thank Lily Mana for technical assistance. AO was supported by Grant no. 2221/15 from the Israel Science Foundation. This study was further supported by the Erasmus+ inter-institutional agreement between the Charles University, Prague, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. JJ was funded by the Czech Science Foundation Project 17-04270S. Work in the laboratory of JH is funded by Israel Science Foundation Grant ISF 850/13.
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