Throughout our internship, one of the main model organisms we worked with were Halobacteria. Halobacteria are not in fact bacteria but Archaea, members of the third domain of life. Halobacteria are also extremophiles, meaning they thrive under extreme conditions that would be completely hostile to most other organisms. In particular, the species we worked with, Halobacterium salinarum, thrives in a highly saline environment. Salinarum is a good model organism because it has a relatively simple genome that has been previously sequenced.



One of the projects we worked on during our internship was determining growth curves of Halobacteria in the lab. Specifically, we tested how well salinarum grew in fresh media of the kind routinely used in the lab, versus in a reconstituted media more likely to be used in the classroom.

We found that during the first day of growth, there was no noticeable difference between the growth of Halo in fresh media versus in reconstituted media. However, after 24 hours, Halo in the more nutrient-rich fresh media began to grow much more quickly, while Halo in the reconstituted media plateaued.