Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of the prokaryotic community inhabiting crystallizer ponds

Environ Microbiol. 1999 Dec;1(6):517-23. doi: 10.1046/j.1462-2920.1999.00065.x.


A fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) protocol suitable for the identification of prokaryotes inhabiting hypersaline environments was developed and applied to several crystallizer ponds with salinities above 36% from a multipond solar saltern in Alicante, Spain. Two morphotypes were abundant in these environments: rods and square or square-like prokaryotes that could be affiliated to Bacteria and Archaea, respectively, by FISH with domain-specific probes. FISH with a newly designed probe proved that the archaeal 16S rDNA sequence most frequently recovered from the crystallizers, SPhT, originated from the dominant square-like prokaryotes. These uncultured prokaryotes have the morphology of Walsby's square bacteria. Additionally, FISH with a probe targeted to the genus Haloarcula, members of which are frequently isolated from this environment, indicated that this genus accounts for less than 0.1% of the total prokaryotic community.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Archaea* / genetics
  • Archaea* / isolation & purification
  • DNA Probes
  • DNA, Archaeal / analysis
  • DNA, Archaeal / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / analysis
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Haloarcula / isolation & purification
  • Haloferax / isolation & purification
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sodium Chloride*
  • Water Microbiology*


  • DNA Probes
  • DNA, Archaeal
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Sodium Chloride