Two novel strains of halophilic archaea, DX253T and GY252, were isolated from Zodletone Spring, a low-salt, sulfide- and sulfur-rich spring in south-western Oklahoma, USA. The cells were cocci or coccobacilli and occurred singly or in pairs. The two strains grew in a wide range of salt concentrations (0.8–5.1 M) and required at least 5 mM Mg2+ for growth. The pH range for growth was 5–7.5 and the temperature range was 25–45 °C. In addition to having the capacity to grow at relatively low salt concentrations, cells remained viable in distilled water after prolonged incubation. The two diether phospholipids that are typical of members of the order Halobacteriales, phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylglycerol phosphate methyl ester, were present. Phosphatidylglycerol sulfate and two unidentified glycolipids were also detected. Each strain had two distinct 16S rRNA gene sequences that were only 89.5–90.8 % similar to sequences from the most closely related cultured and recognized species within the order Halobacteriales. The DNA G+C content of the type strain was found to be 60.5 mol%. The closest relatives were clones and uncharacterized isolates obtained from coastal salt-marsh sediments with salinities equivalent to that of seawater. The physiological, biochemical and phylogenetic differences between strains DX253T and GY252 and other previously described genera of extremely halophilic archaea suggest that these novel strains represent a novel species and genus within the family Halobacteriaceae, for which the name Haladaptatus paucihalophilus gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is DX253T (=JCM 13897T=DSM 18195T=ATCC BAA-1313T=KCTC 4006T).
A starch-hydrolysing and extremely halophilic archaeon (strain BD-3T), isolated from Aibi salt lake in Xin-Jiang, China, was characterized phenotypically and genotypically in order to determine its taxonomic status. On the basis of its polar lipid composition, nucleotide sequences of its 16S rRNA genes, genomic DNA G+C content (62.4 mol%) and growth characteristics, the organism could be assigned to the genus Haloarcula. Phenotypic differences and low DNA–DNA hybridization values to related Haloarcula species distinguished strain BD-3T from recognized Haloarcula species. It is therefore concluded that strain BD-3T represents a novel species, for which the name Haloarcula amylolytica sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is BD-3T (=CGMCC 1.5335T=JCM 13557T).