Kushner, D. J. Department of Microbiology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Last reviewed:February 2020
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- Halophilic characteristics
- Adaptation to salt
- Transport and sensory pigments
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The requirement of high salt (NaCl) concentrations for growth of microorganisms. Microorganisms (mainly bacteria) can be classified by their physiological tolerance to salt (Fig. 1). Most normal bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, and most freshwater microorganisms are nonhalophiles (best growth at less than 1.2% NaCl). Slight halophiles (requiring 1.2–3% NaCl) include many marine microorganisms. Moderate halophiles (requiring 3–15% NaCl) include Salinivibrio costicola, Halomonas denitrificans, and many others. Borderline extreme halophiles (requiring 9–25% NaCl) include the photosynthetic bacterium Halorhodospira halophila, the actinomycete Actinopolyspora halophila, and various halophylic species belonging to the Archaea (for example, Haloferax volcanii and Haloferax mediterranei). Extreme halophiles (requiring 15–30% NaCl) include Halobacterium salinarium and Halococcus morrhuae. See also: Ancient microorganisms in salt; Archaea; Bacteria; Bacterial physiology and metabolism; Bacteriology; Extremophiles; Salt (chemistry); Salt (food)
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