Dr Warhol’s Periodic Table of Microbes
51. Sb. Salinibacter
If you put so much salt on your food that your friends and family think you’re trying to kill yourself, you just may want to hang out with Salinibacter.
The organism was isolated from salt crystallization ponds in Spain. It cannot live below 15% salinity and prefers between 20% and 30% salt concentration. Remember those osmolarity labs with human red blood cells? We are at around 0.9%, these microbes enjoy 20X that amount!
Some people feel that it is important that Salinibacter is a halophilic bacterium rather than a halophilic Archaean. You may also. This is a relatively new genus of microbes, first described in 2002.
At a molecular level, these microbes have adaptations to
cope and thrive with high salt levels. There are three recognized Salinibacter species:
iranicus, luteus, and ruber. You can probably guess that ruber produces red pigmented
colonies, luteus grows up orange, and iranicus was isolated in Iran.
If you like travelling to salt lakes, you could also find these in Tuz Lake in Turkey, the Wadi an Natrun depression in Egypt, and in the Peruvian Andes.
Salinibacter is a Gram negative very long rod, measuring around 0.5 microns wide by 15 to 60 microns long!
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Copyright 2016 Warhol.