Haloferax sulfurifontis

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H. sulfurifontis was originally found in a spring in microbial mats and mineral crusts near the sulfide and sulfur rich Zodletone spring, southwestern Oklahoma [1]. It showed 96-98% similarity with others in the Haloferax genus. The Haloferax genus consists of six creditably published species and is characterized by a low obligatory salt-content as compared to other Halobacteria, although it is best suited to a salt content of 25% or above [2].


A phylogenetic tree showing the relationships within the Haloferax genus and other similar genera.

The most notable feature of H. sulfurfontis is that is is pleomorphic and shows multiple structural forms during its life cycle. "Rods, irregular cells and flattened disc shapes were observed using phase-contrast microscopy and SEM. Rod-shaped cells (single or in pairs) were observed more frequently during the exponential growth phase, whereas irregularly shaped cells were common during the stationary phase or from colonies on agar plates." [3]

Haloferax sulfurifontis has been sequenced and the genetic information reduced to 36 contigs comprised of 3813939 base pairs [4]. All 36 contigs can be found here: H.sulfurifontis contigs


Haloferax sulfurifontis sp. nov., a halophilic archaeon isolated from a sulfide- and sulfur-rich spring

Provides some background information on the species and the Haloferax genus as a whole.