Intracellular ion and organic solute concentrations of the extremely halophilic bacterium Salinibacter ruber

Aharon Oren*, Mikal Heldal, Svein Norland, Erwin A. Galinski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Salinibacter ruber is a red obligatory aerobic chemoorganotrophic extremely halophilic Bacterium, related to the order Cytophagales. It was isolated from saltern crystallizer ponds, and requires at least 150 g l-1 salt for growth. The cells have an extremely high potassium content, the ratio K +/protein being in the same range as in halophilic Archaea of the order Halobacteriales. X-ray microanalysis in the electron microscope of cells grown in medium of 250 g l-1 salt confirmed the high intracellular K+ concentrations, and showed intracellular chloride to be about as high as the cation concentrations within the cells. A search for intracellular organic osmotic solutes, using 13C-NMR and HPLC techniques, showed glutamate, glycine betaine, and N-α-acetyllysine to be present in low concentrations only, contributing very little to the overall osmotic balance. The results presented suggest that the extremely halophilic Bacterium Salinibacter uses a similar mode of haloadaptation to that of the Archaea of the order Halobacteriales, and does not accumulate organic osmotic solutes such as are used by all other known halophilic and halotolerant aerobic Bacteria.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)491-498
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Science Foundation, founded by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and the “Improving Human Potential Program” of the European Union through contract no. HPRI-1999-CT-00056 (to A.O.). Special thanks are due to Mr. Egil Ericksen for his assistance with the operation of the electron microscope and elemental analysis system at the University of Bergen.


  • Compatible solutes
  • Halophilic
  • Intracellular ion concentrations
  • Salinibacter
  • X-ray microanalysis


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