Extremophilic Bacterium from Searles Lake

A paper characterizing a new extremophilic bacterium, isolated from a saturated salt crust from Searles Lake will be published in the April issue of /Applied and Environmental Microbiology/. The bacterium has been named in honor of the late NASA Ames geomicrobiologist, Dr. Melvin Silverman. /Halarsenatibacter silvermanii /Switzer Blum et al., sp. nov. grows by arsenate respiration at alkaline pH above 9 and at salt concentrations above 20%, including at saturation. The work was lead by Mel’s former postdoc, Ronald Oremland, now with the USGS at Menlo Park. Lipid analysis was contributed by Exobiology branch member, and former colleague, Linda Jahnke. The work was partially funded by grants from NASA’s Exobiology program.

Citation: Switzer Blum J, Han S, Lanoil B, Satikov C, Witte B, Tabita F R, Langley S, Beveridge T J, Jahnke L, Oremland R S. 2009. Ecophysiology of “Halarsenatibacter silvermanii” Strain SLAS-1T, gen. nov., sp. nov., a facultative chemoautotrophic arsenate respirer from salt-saturated Searles Lake, California.