New advances in the understanding of haloarchaea physiology, metabolism, biochemistry, and molecular biology show that these kinds of microorganisms produce several compounds in response to the extreme conditions of their ecosystems. Thus, the complete metabolic and genetic machineries are fully adapted to nutrient starvation, high sun radiation, and high ionic strength. Due to these adaptations, some of the primary and secondary metabolites produced by haloarchaea are of high interest in terms of potential biotechnological uses. The principal goal of the chapter is to present a review about the main characteristics of these biocompounds and their potential uses in biomedicine, pharmacy, and industry.
Part of the book: Archaea
Pollution of soils, sediments, and groundwater is a matter of concern at global level. Industrial waste effluents have damaged several environments; thus, pollutant removal has become a priority worldwide. Currently, bioremediation has emerged as an effective solution for these problems, and, indeed, the use of haloarchaea in bioremediation has been tested successfully. A bibliographic review is here presented to show the recent advances in bioremediation of polluted soil and wastewater using haloarchaea. Several aspects related to the publications in the context of bioremediation and the innovative proposal of using haloarchaea are also analyzed. The results obtained claim that most of the countries show an alarming contamination issue, which focuses the finance into research about environmental friendly remediation approaches to solve this problem. Concerning bioremediation, strategies to treat soils and polluted waters have been much more studied than bioremediation processes addressed to industrial residues. Publications about bioremediation mainly comes from USA, China, and India at the time of writing this work. However, works using haloarchaea in bioremediation came from Kuwait and Spain. Haloarchaea have been investigated as a potential tool for industrial and environmental purposes. Further research is needed to elucidate the optimal growth conditions and environmental parameters for this proposal.
Part of the book: Advances in Bioremediation and Phytoremediation
Some seabirds or coastal birds such as flamingos or pelicans display elegant pink or reddish colours. These colours are due to pigments that birds cannot synthesize de novo. Thus, this coloration is mainly originated from carotenoids ingested trough carotenoid rich food sources like microalgae (Dunaliella) or small shrimps (Artemia), which are microorganisms inhabiting the salty environments where the mentioned birds live. New advances in this field of knowledge have revealed that extreme microorganisms belonging to the haloarchaea group (Archaea Domain) may contribute significantly to the characteristic pink- red colour of flamingos’ feathers for instance. Alive haloarchaea cells have been found on the surface of the feathers. Besides, the major carotenoid produced by haloarchaea (bacterioruberin) has also been identify within the feathers structure. This work summarizes the main contributions recently reported about this topic as well as general aspects regarding bacterioruberin as a powerful colour carotenoid. Discussions about potential role of these microorganisms in the life of seaside birds are also included.
Part of the book: Birds