Several strains of extremely halophilic archaeobacteria, both non-alkaliphilic and alkaliphilic, including Halobacterium, Haloferax and Natronobacterium species, were isolated from salt locales in India. The major phospholipids in these strains were the C20-C20-glycerol diether analogues of phosphatidylglycerolmethylphosphate (PGP-Me), phosphatidylglycerol (PG) and phosphatidic acid (PA). In addition, the Halobacterium strains possessed the characteristic glycolipids, sulfated triglycosyl and tetraglycosyl diethers (S-TGD-1 and S-TeGD, respectively) and the unsulfated triglycosyl diether (TGD-1); and the Haloferax strains had the characteristic sulfated and unsulfated diglycosyl glycerol diethers (S-DGD-1 and DGD-1, respectively). The PGP-Me, and PG components of the haloalkaliphiles each occurred as two molecular species with C20-C20- and C20-C25-(isopranoid) glycerol diether lipid cores. In contrast to previous reports of the absence of glycolipids in natronobacteria, the Natronobacterium strains from India were found to contain small amounts of a novel glycolipid identified as glucopyranosyl-1-->6-glucopyranosyl-1-->1-glycerol diether (DGD-4). The lipid cores of DGD-4 also contained mainly unhydroxylated or hydroxylated C20-C20, C20-C25 and C25-C25 molecular species with unsaturated (isoprenoid) chains. Hydroxylated lipid cores have previously been identified only in some methanogenic archaeobacteria.
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