Halobacterium salinarum: Life with more than a grain of salt

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Halobacterium salinarum is a halophilic (salt-loving) archaeon that grows in salt concentrations near or at saturation. Although isolated from salted fish a century ago, it was the 1971 discovery of bacteriorhodopsin, the light-driven proton pump, that raised interest in Hbt. salinarum across a range of disciplines, including biophysics, chemistry, molecular evolution and biotechnology. Hbt. salinarum have since contributed to numerous discoveries, such as advances in membrane protein structure determination and the first example of a non-eukaryal glycoprotein. Work on Hbt. salinarum, one of the species used to define Archaea, has also elucidated molecular workings in the third domain. Finally, Hbt. salinarum presents creative solutions to the challenges of life in high salt.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number001327
JournalMicrobiology (United Kingdom)
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Archaea
  • Halobacterium salinarum
  • halophiles

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology


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