The polar lipid composition of Walsby's square bacterium

Aharon Oren*, Sara Duker, Sigalit Ritter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


Square, gas vacuole-containing Archaea of the type first described by Walsby were found to dominate in a saltern crystallizer pond in Eilat, Israel. To obtain information on the taxonomic position of these yet uncultured bacteria, we analyzed the polar lipids present in the microbial community in the saltern brine. In addition to phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerophosphate and phosphatidylglycerosulfate we found one glycolipid, chromatographically identical with the sulfated diglycosyl diether lipid found as the major glycolipid in Haloferax species. As the square bacteria contributed at least 85% of the total membrane surface in the biota of the sample examined, we concluded, based on polar lipid composition, that these organisms are unrelated to the genera Halobacterium and Haloarcula, and probably belong to a new genus.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)135-140
Number of pages6
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1 May 1996


  • Glycolipid
  • Haloarcula
  • Halobacterium
  • Halophilic Archaea
  • Saltern
  • Square bacteria


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