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Regulation of osmoadaptation in the moderate halophile Halobacillus halophilus: chloride, glutamate and switching osmolyte strategies

Author(s): Saum Stephan | Müller Volker

Journal: Saline Systems
ISSN 1746-1448

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Abstract The moderate halophile Halobacillus halophilus is the paradigm for chloride dependent growth in prokaryotes. Recent experiments shed light on the molecular basis of the chloride dependence that is reviewed here. In the presence of moderate salinities Halobacillus halophilus mainly accumulates glutamine and glutamate to adjust turgor. The transcription of glnA2 (encoding a glutamine synthetase) as well as the glutamine synthetase activity were identified as chloride dependent steps. Halobacillus halophilus switches its osmolyte strategy and produces proline as the main compatible solute at high salinities. Furthermore, Halobacillus halophilus also shifts its osmolyte strategy at the transition from the exponential to the stationary phase where proline is exchanged by ectoine. Glutamate was found as a “second messenger” essential for proline production. This observation leads to a new model of sensing salinity by sensing the physico-chemical properties of different anions.
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