Haloquadratum walsbyi : Limited Diversity in a Global Pond

First described in 1980 [1], the square haloarchaeon, Haloquadratum walsbyi, is commonly the dominant species found in hypersaline waters such as salt lakes and saltern crystallizer ponds [2], [3]. Its cells are highly distinctive, being thin squares or rectangles, usually containing gas vesicles and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHA) granules [4], [5]. It thrives at saturating salt concentrations, where it can represent ≥80% of the microbial population [6], and its cytoplasm is completely adapted to function optimally at similarly high levels of potassium chloride.

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