The ocean may be blue, but the saltier
bodies of water have a different a story. Some salt marshes
and lakes (the Dead Sea, Owens Lake, and the Great Salt Lake, to name a
few) can be seen emitting a purplish-pink tint. Why are the waters
running purple? A
mysterious resident known as Halobacterium
This free-living, unicellular microorganism
flourishes in saturated salt solutions under intense solar radiation.
Halobacterium sp., an
archaeon, has a unique ability to survive under both aerobic and
Under anaerobic conditions, when oxygen isn't
available for ATP generation, the bacteria forms a purple membrane.
The main component of the purple membrane, Bacteriorhodopsin,
keeps Halobactium sp.'s life
cycle going in this time of famine by funtioning as an energy
|Halobacteria has an
ability to change its color as its environmental conditions change - as
does this website: Un-Pinkify!