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Spirochaeta halophila sp. n., a facultative anaerobe from a high-salinity pond

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A facultatively anaerobic spirochete isolated from a high-salinity pond grew optimally when 0.75 M NaCl, 0.2 M MgSO4, and 0.01 M CaCl2 were present in media containing yeast extract, peptone, and a carbohydrate. The organism failed to grow when any one of these three salts was omitted from the medium. Aerobically-grown colonies of the spirochete were red, whereas anaerobically-grown colonies showed no pigmentation. Non-pigmented mutants of the spirochete were isolated.

The spirochete used carbohydrates, but not amino acids, as energy sources. Glucose was fermented to CO2, H2, ethanol, acetate, and a small amount of lactate. Determinations of radioactivity in products formed from glucose-1-14C and enzymatic assays indicated that glucose was dissimilated to pyruvate mainly via the Embden-Meyerhof pathway. Pyruvate was metabolized through a clostridial-type clastic reaction.

Cells growing acrobically performed an incomplete oxidation of glucose mainly to CO2 and acetate. Comparison of aerobic and anaerobic growth yields indicated that oxidative phosphorylation occurred in cells growing aerobically. The guanine + cytosine content of the DNA of the spirochete was 62 moles%. It is proposed that the spirochete described herein be considered a new species and that it be namedSpirochaeta halophila.

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Greenberg, E.P., Canale-Parola, E. Spirochaeta halophila sp. n., a facultative anaerobe from a high-salinity pond. Arch. Microbiol. 110, 185–194 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00690227

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Key words

  • Spirochaeta halophila
  • Halophilic bacteria
  • Solar lake
  • Selective isolation
  • Facultatively anaerobic spirochetes