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Microbiological Research
Vol. 207, 2018, Pages: 289-298

Diversity and bioprospecting of extremely halophilic archaea isolated from Algerian arid and semi-arid wetland ecosystems for halophilic-active hydrolytic enzymes

Taha Menasria, Margarita Aguilera, Hacene Hocine, Leyla Benammar, Ammar Ayachi, Abdelkrim Si Bachir, Ahmed Dekak, Mercedes Monteoliva-Sánchez

Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences University of Batna 2, Batna 05078, Algeria.


The diversity of haloarchaea associated with different dry salt lakes in northeastern Algeria was investigated together with their potential of hydrolytic enzyme production. A total of 68 aerobic halophilic archaea were isolated from saline sediments. Based on the 16S rRNA gene sequencing, the isolates were assigned to seven phylotypes within the class Halobacteria, namely HaloarculaHalococcusHaloferaxHalogeometricum, Haloterrigena, Natrialba, and Natrinema. The results showed that Haloferax group was found to be dominant in all samples (30 isolates) (44%) with high diversity, followed by Halococcus spp. (13%) (9 isolates). All phylotypes are extreme halophiles and thermotolerant with the ability to grow at temperatures up to 48 °C. In addition, the screening for extracellular halophilic enzymes showed that 89.7% of the isolates were able to produce at least two types of the screened enzymes. The strains producing esterase, gelatinase, inulinase, cellulase and protease activities were the most diverse functional group. These data showed an abundant and diverse haloarchaeal community, detected in Algerian wetland ecosystems, presenting a promising source of molecules with important biotechnological applications.

Keywords: Wetlands, Dry salt lakes, Haloarchaea, Hydrolytic enzymes, Esterase, Protease.

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