Genome-based analyses reveal a synonymy among Halorubrum distributum Zvyagintseva and Tarasov 1989; Oren and Ventosa 1996, Halorubrum terrestre Ventosa et al. 2004, Halorubrum arcis Xu et al. 2007 and Halorubrum litoreum Cui et al. 2007. Emended description of Halorubrum distributum Zvyagintseva and Tarasov 1989; Oren and Ventosa 1996

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2020 Mar;70(3):1698-1705. doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.003956.


A comparative taxonomic study of Halorubrum distributum, Halorubrum terrestre, Halorubrum arcis and Halorubrum litoreum was carried out using different approaches, 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA), phylogenomic analysis based on the comparison of the core genome, orthologous average nucleotide identity (OrthoANI), Genome-to-Genome Distance Calculator (GGDC), synteny plots and polar lipid profile (PLP). The MLSA study, using the five concatenated housekeeping genes atpB, EF-2, glnA, ppsA and rpoB', and the phylogenomic analysis based on 1347 core translated gene sequences obtained from their genomes showed that Halorubrum distributum JCM 9100T, Halorubrum terrestre JCM 10247T, Halorubrum arcis JCM 13916T and Halorubrum litoreum JCM 13561T formed a robust cluster, clearly separated from the rest of species of the genus Halorubrum. The OrthoANI and digital DDH values, calculated by the GGDC, showed percentages among Hrr. distributum JCM 9100T, Hrr. terrestre JCM 10247T, Hrr. arcis JCM 13916T and Hrr. litoreum JCM 13561T that ranged from 98.1 to 97.5 %, and 84.0 to 78.0 %, respectively, while these values among those strains and the type strains of their most related species of Halorubrum were equal or lower than 90.8 and 41.2 %, respectively. Moreover, degree of synteny across the four genomes was very high, especially between the genomes of Halorubrum litoreum JCM 13561T and Halorubrum arcis JCM 13916T. In addition, the PLP is quite similar among the four strains studied, showing a common pattern typical of the neutrophilic species of the genus Halorubrum. Overall, these data show that Hrr. distributum, Hrr. terrestre, Hrr. arcis and Hrr. litoreum constitute a single species. Thus, the latter three should be considered as later, heterotypic synonyms of Hrr. distributum based on the rules for priority of names. We propose an emended description of Hrr. distributum, including the features of Hrr. terrestre, Hrr. arcis and Hrr. litoreum.

Keywords: Halorubrum; Halorubrum distributum; emended description; synonym; taxonomy.

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Archaeal / genetics
  • Genes, Archaeal
  • Halorubrum / classification*
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Phylogeny*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • DNA, Archaeal
  • Lipids
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S