Proposed minimal standards for description of new taxa of the class Halobacteria

Heng Lin Cui, Jing Hou, Mohammad Ali Amoozegar, Mike L. Dyall-Smith, Rafael R. de la Haba, Hiroaki Minegishi, Rafael Montalvo-Rodriguez, Aharon Oren*, Cristina Sanchez-Porro, Antonio Ventosa, Russell H. Vreeland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Halophilic archaea of the class Halobacteria are the most salt-requiring prokaryotes within the domain Archaea. In 1997, minimal standards for the description of new taxa in the order Halobacteriales were proposed. From then on, the taxonomy of the class Halobacteria provides an excellent example of how changing concepts on prokaryote taxonomy and the development of new methods were implemented. The last decades have witnessed a rapid expansion of the number of described taxa within the class Halobacteria coinciding with the era of genome sequencing development. The current members of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Halobacteria propose these revisions to the recommended minimal standards and encourage the use of advanced technologies in the taxonomic description of members of the Halobacteria. Most previously required and some recommended minimal standards for the description of new taxa in the class Halobacteria were retained in the present revision, but changes have been proposed in line with the new methodologies. In addition to the 16S rRNA gene, the rpoB′ gene is an important molecular marker for the identification of members of the Halobacteria. Phylogenomic analysis based on concatenated conserved, single-copy marker genes is required to infer the taxonomic status of new taxa. The overall genome relatedness indexes have proven to be determinative in the classification of the taxa within the class Halobacteria. Average nucleotide identity, digital DNA–DNA hybridization, and average amino acid identity values should be calculated for rigorous comparison among close relatives.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number006290
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024

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  • Archaea
  • Halobacteria
  • phylogeny
  • taxonomy


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