Intraspecific polymorphism of 16S rRNA genes in two halophilic archaeal genera, Haloarcula and Halomicrobium

Heng Lin Cui, Pei Jin Zhou, Aharon Oren, Shuang Jiang Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


All members of the genera Haloarcula and Halomicrobium whose names have been validly published were surveyed for 16S rRNA gene polymorphism, and the transcription of the genes from two species was investigated during growth at different NaCl concentrations. The species of Haloarcula and Halomicrobium harbour at least two different 16S rRNA gene copies, and 18 new sequences of 16S rRNA genes were obtained. The type I and type II 16S rRNA genes of Haloarcula are divergent at 4.8-5.6% of their nucleotide positions. The type III and type IV 16S rRNA genes from Halomicrobium mukohataei JCM 9738T are 9.0% divergent, which represents the highest intraspecific divergent 16S rRNA genes so far seen. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA genes indicated that all type I 16S rRNA genes were clustered, and the same was true for the type II 16S rRNA genes of Haloarcula species. The two clusters, respectively generated from type I and type II 16S rRNA genes, were sharply separated and their divergences (4.8-5.6%) are in the range of various divergence usually found between genera in the order Halobacteriales (about 5-10%). Results from reverse transcription-PCR showed that the type I and type II copies of Har. amylolytica BD-3T and type III and type IV copies of Hmc. mukohataei JCM 9738T were all transcribed to 16S rRNA molecules under different salt concentrations (15-28% NaCl).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This study was supported by the National Basic Research Program from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China (Grant No. 2004CB719601) and a start-up grant from Jiangsu University (Grant No. 08JDG016).


  • 16S rRNA gene polymorphism
  • Haloarcula
  • Halomicrobium
  • Halophilic archaea


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