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Life 2013, 3(1), 244-259; doi:10.3390/life3010244

Properties of Halococcus salifodinae, an Isolate from Permian Rock Salt Deposits, Compared with Halococci from Surface Waters

1
Department of Molecular Biology, University of Salzburg, Billrothstr. 11, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
2
Medical University Vienna, Währingerstrasse 10, 1090 Wien, Austria
3
Institute of Microbiology and Wine Research, Johannes Gutenberg-University, 55099 Mainz, Germany
4
Frauenhofer-Institut für Molekularbiologie und Angewandte Ökologie, 57392 Schmallenberg, Germany
5
LMU Biocenter, Ultrastructural Research, Grosshadernerstrasse 2-4, 82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 January 2013 / Revised: 7 February 2013 / Accepted: 14 February 2013 / Published: 28 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extremophiles and Extreme Environments)
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Abstract

Halococcus salifodinae BIpT DSM 8989T, an extremely halophilic archaeal isolate from an Austrian salt deposit (Bad Ischl), whose origin was dated to the Permian period, was described in 1994. Subsequently, several strains of the species have been isolated, some from similar but geographically separated salt deposits. Hcc. salifodinae may be regarded as one of the most ancient culturable species which existed already about 250 million years ago. Since its habitat probably did not change during this long period, its properties were presumably not subjected to the needs of mutational adaptation. Hcc. salifodinae and other isolates from ancient deposits would be suitable candidates for testing hypotheses on prokaryotic evolution, such as the molecular clock concept, or the net-like history of genome evolution. A comparison of available taxonomic characteristics from strains of Hcc. salifodinae and other Halococcus species, most of them originating from surface waters, is presented. The cell wall polymer of Hcc. salifodinae was examined and found to be a heteropolysaccharide, similar to that of Hcc. morrhuae. Polyhydroxyalkanoate granules were present in Hcc. salifodinae, suggesting a possible lateral gene transfer before Permian times.
Keywords: Halococcus species; Halococcus salifodinae; haloarchaea; Permian salt deposit; cell wall polymer; polyhydroxyalkanoate; prokaryotic evolution Halococcus species; Halococcus salifodinae; haloarchaea; Permian salt deposit; cell wall polymer; polyhydroxyalkanoate; prokaryotic evolution
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Legat, A.; Denner, E.B.M.; Dornmayr-Pfaffenhuemer, M.; Pfeiffer, P.; Knopf, B.; Claus, H.; Gruber, C.; König, H.; Wanner, G.; Stan-Lotter, H. Properties of Halococcus salifodinae, an Isolate from Permian Rock Salt Deposits, Compared with Halococci from Surface Waters. Life 2013, 3, 244-259.

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