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Legat, Andrea; Denner, Ewald B M; Dornmayr-Pfaffenhuemer, Marion; Pfeiffer, Peter; Knopf, Burkhard; Claus, Harald; Gruber, Claudia; König, Helmut; Wanner, Gerhard; Stan-Lotter, Helga (2013): Properties of Halococcus salifodinae, an Isolate from Permian Rock Salt Deposits, Compared with Halococci from Surface Waters. In: Life, Vol. 3, No. 1: pp. 244-259




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.