Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, 400 W. 11th Str., Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri 65409-1120, USA.
The order Halanaerobiales contains a number of well-studied halophiles that possess great potential for biotechnological applications. The unique halophilic adaptations that these organisms utilize, such as “salting-in” mechanisms to increase their intercellular concentration of KCl, combined with their ability to ferment simple sugars, provides an excellent platform for biotechnological development over a wide range of salt levels and possible other extreme conditions, such as alkaline conditions. From fermented foods to oil reservoirs, members of Halanaerobiales are found in many environments. The environmental conditions many of these organisms grow are similar to industrially important processes, such as alkaline pre-treated biomass stocks, treatment of crude glycerol from biodiesel production, salty fermented foods, as well as bioremediation of contaminants under extreme conditions of salinity and in some cases, alkalinity. From salt-stable enzymes to waste fermentations, bioremediation options, bioenergy, and microbially enhanced oil recovery (MEOR), Halanaerobiales can provide a wide spectrum of environmentally friendly solutions to current problems.