Disentangling a metabolic cross-feeding in a halophilic archaea-bacteria consortium

Nahui Olin Medina-Chávez, Abigail Torres-Cerda, Jeremy M. Chacón, William R. Harcombe, Susana De la Torre-Zavala, Michael Travisano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microbial syntrophy, a cooperative metabolic interaction among prokaryotes, serves a critical role in shaping communities, due to the auxotrophic nature of many microorganisms. Syntrophy played a key role in the evolution of life, including the hypothesized origin of eukaryotes. In a recent exploration of the microbial mats within the exceptional and uniquely extreme Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB), a halophilic isolate, designated as AD140, emerged as a standout due to its distinct growth pattern. Subsequent genome sequencing revealed AD140 to be a co-culture of a halophilic archaeon from the Halorubrum genus and a marine halophilic bacterium, Marinococcus luteus, both occupying the same ecological niche. This intriguing coexistence hints at an early-stage symbiotic relationship that thrives on adaptability. By delving into their metabolic interdependence through genomic analysis, this study aims to uncover shared characteristics that enhance their symbiotic association, offering insights into the evolution of halophilic microorganisms and their remarkable adaptations to high-salinity environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1276438
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Medina-Chávez, Torres-Cerda, Chacón, Harcombe, De la Torre-Zavala and Travisano.


  • archaea
  • bacteria
  • cross-feeding
  • extremophiles
  • halophiles
  • metabolic exchange
  • syntrophy


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