Haloferax larsenii HA3 was able to grow optimally in HS medium containing 15% NaCl, at pH 7.2 and 42 °C in aerobic conditions. Strain HA3 was found to be round shape, Gram-negative, catalase-positive, sensitive to bile acid, and resistant to chloramphenicol, and could not utilize arginine. The lipid profile revealed the presence of glycerol diether moiety (GDEM) suggesting Haloarchaea characteristics. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities showed that it was closely related to H. larsenii ZJ206. Interestingly, strain HA3 was found to produce halocin HA3 which was purified using ultrafiltration and chromatography. It was found to be stable up to 80 °C, pH 2.0-10.0, organic solvents, surfactants, and detergents tested. However, the activity of halocin HA3 was completely reduced in the presence of proteinase K and trypsin. It was found to be halocidal against H. larsenii HA10, rupturing cell boundary and leading to cell death. The molecular weight of halocin HA3 was found to be ~13 kDa and MALDI-TOF MS/MS analysis suggested no homology with known halocins. The N-terminal ten amino-acid residues, NH2MNLGIILETN-COOH, suggested a new/novel halocin. These properties of halocin HA3 may be applicable for control of Haloarchaea in environments and salted foods.
Keywords: Cell morphology; Cell viability; Cytocidal; Halocin; Haloferax larsenii HA3; Salted foods.