N-155. Characterization of Halophilic and Halotolerant Bacteria from Mineral Springs in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky

D. S. Treves, C. Shively, A. Tate, L. Burke;
Indiana Univ. Southeast, New Albany, IN.

Halophilic bacteria are characterized by their ability to balance the osmotic pressure of their surroundings and thus escape the denaturing effects of high salt environments. A set of halophilic and halotolerant isolates were collected from Lithia Spring (IN), Great Salt Spring (IL) and springs in Big Bone Lick State Park (KY). Isolates able to grow in media containing between 5-15% NaCl were purified and then identified by partial 16S rDNA sequencing. Several isolates closely matched Pontibacillus chungwhensis, Halobacillus yeomjeoni, and H. salinus, which were recently described as novel halophilic species from the costal regions of Korea and Japan. This is an ongoing project with the aim of describing the diversity of halophiles in regional mineral springs, defining the role halophiles play in these environments and further assessing the unique physiology salt tolerant bacteria.