Two halophilic archaea, designated strains WSM-64(T) and WSM-66, were isolated from a sample taken from a borehole in the currently unexploited Barycz mining area belonging to the "Wieliczka" Salt Mine Company, in Poland. Strains are red pigmented and form non-motile cocci that stain Gram-negative. Strains WSM-64(T) and WSM-66 showed optimum growth at 40 °C, in 20% NaCl and at pH 6.5-7.5. The strains were facultative anaerobes. The major polar lipids of the two strains were phosphatidylglycerol (PG2), phosphatidylglycerol phosphate methyl ester (PGP-Me) and sulfated diglycosyl diether (S-DGD). Menaquinone MK-8 was the major respiratory quinone. The DNA G+C content of strain WSM-64(T) was 61.2 mol% by HPLC method; 61.0 mol% by genome sequencing. Analysis of the almost complete 16S rRNA gene sequence indicated that the strains WSM-64(T) and WSM-66 (99.7% identity) represented a member of the genus Halorhabdus in the family Halobacteriaceae. Both strains formed a distinct cluster and were most closely related to Halorhabdus tiamatea SARL4B(T) and Halorhabdus utahensis AX-2(T) (DSM 12940(T)) (95.4% and 95.6%, respectively). ANI values of WSM-64(T) with the closest relative type strains were <78.5%. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence and whole genome analyses, physiological and biochemical characteristics we describe a new species represented by strain WSM-64(T) (=DSM 29498(T) =CECT 8673(T)) for which we propose the name Halorhabdus rudnickae sp. nov.
Keywords: Haloarchaea; Halorhabdus; Halorhabdus rudnickae sp. nov.
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