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Keywords:

  • Antimicrobial substances;
  • halocins;
  • halophilic archaea;
  • halophilic bacteria;
  • hypersaline.

Abstract

The significance of antimicrobial substances, halocins, produced by halophilic archaea and bacteria thriving in hypersaline environments is relatively unknown. It is suggested that their production might increase species diversity and give transient competitive advances to the producer strain. Halocin production is considered to be common among halophilic archaea, but there is a lack of information about halocins produced by bacteria in highly saline environments. We studied the antimicrobial activity of 68 halophilic archaea and 22 bacteria isolated from numerous geographically distant hypersaline environments. Altogether 144 antimicrobial interactions were found between the strains and aside haloarchaea, halophilic bacteria from various genera were identified as halocin producers. Close to 80% of the interactions were detected between microorganisms from different genera and in few cases, even across the domain boundary. Several of the strains produced halocins with a wide inhibitory spectrum as has been observed before. Most of the antimicrobial interactions were found between strains from distant sampling sites indicating that hypersaline environments around the world have similar microorganisms with the potential to produce wide activity range antimicrobials.