Halomonas campusalis
William Feickert
The Case of the Unpublished Microorganisms

April 27,1999: Its 7:30 in the morning on a rainy Tuesday and wouldn't you know I'm pressed for time.  This case should have been done weeks ago.  What seemed to be an easy project became a hassle.  When Dr. David Westenberg approached me, William Feickert private investigator, with this case, I thought it was money in the bag.  I was supposed to observe the organism and look for any suspicious behavior.  This proved, to to be a harder task then first believed.  Ms. Halomonas campusalis could not be found.  Sure she had been isolated from the silt plain of the alkali lake in Washington, but that was the only sighting.  I needed some inside help.  I decided to enlist an associate, and good friend, to help with the case.  The friend, Dr. Melanie Mormile, and I go way back to just a month or so ago.  It was hard times then, Dr. Mormile was looking for a job, and was finishing up my degree program at the University of Missouri-Rolla.  Even though I as for the most part inebriated at the time, I realized that Dr. Mormile would be a good person to have on my side.  So I contacted her and we became friends.  Things were good for some time, but we slowly lost touch.  Some time had passed when I was first approached with this case.  But from the beginning I knew that Dr. Mormile was able to help.  Dr. Mormile was able to make a few observations for me.  She said that Ms. H. campusalis was a Gram negative rod that reduces nitrate to nitrite and then nitrite to nitrogen.  But that was all the information she could provide.  She said that she could give me all the information I need in a few weeks (when the paper was finished being published) but as I said before, time was not on my side.  Dr. Mormile was able to give me a lead however.  She mentioned that Ms. H. campusalis had a close relative by the name of Halomonas desiderata.  Mr. H. desiderata was also a Gram negative rod that reduced nitrate to dinitrogen gas.  But the search for Mr. H. desiderata proved also to be a hassle.  I could not get a hold of F. Berendes et al, experts on the hardened criminal.  But in the attempt I learned some helpful information.  It seems that all organisms in the Halomonas genus are Gram negative rods that are capable of anaerobic growth with glucose (in the absence of nitrate) and have fatty acids ester-linked to glycerol.  This was all in contrast to others in the halophilic realm such as Halococcus and mostly contrasting to the Halobacterium.  The Halomonas genus are also either non-pigmented or yellow pigmented, and polarly or laterally flagellated.  As for Ms. Halomonas campusalis what ever makes her unique is still under investigation.  The mystery tends to stay unsolved... At least for another few weeks.

References:

Singleton, Paul; and Diana Saintsbury.  "Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology":  second edition. Wiley-Interscience: 1987.
Vreeland, Litchfield, Martin, and Elliot.  "Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology": Vol 1: Genus Halomonas.  Williams & Wilkins: 1984.  Pg. 340-343

 

*Disclaimer - This report was written by a student participaring in a microbiology course at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. The accuracy of the contents of this report is not guaranteed and it is recommended that you seek additional sources of information to verify the contents.

 

Return to Missouri S&T Microbiology HomePage Go to DJW's HomePage