Salinispora tropica

    Take a quick glance at the picture below. What is the first thing that comes to mind? Some of the things that I have heard are apricot, peach, or the mold on their bathroom wall. Of course none of these are correct. Would you believe me if I told you this could be what treats your loved ones (or your) cancer?! Believe it or not that is exactly what this organism is capable of along with many other functions!

    This genus is derived by its habitat and the way it reproduces. Salini (salt) refers to the fact that it only grows in high salinity waters. Spora (spore producing) was added due to the fact that it produces spores. This organism’s epithet (tropica) refers to the fact that it resides in tropical waters, namely sediments off the coast of the Bahamas.

    As stated above, the genus Salinispora is all saltwater obligates, reside in relatively warm environments, and produce secondary metabolites that are currently being studied for a variety of medical treatments. Species Salinispora tropica is differentiated by the distinct suite of secondary metabolites that it produces, including salinosporimide A, lymphostin, and sporolide A.


    The best way to think of this group of marine bacteria is that they are like single celled fungi. In fact, these marine bacteria used to be classified as fungi. In my opinion the best way to describe this species is that they are a lot like yeast (pictured on the left above). They possess a mycelium structure and are both single celled. Though you cannot make beer out of them there are many things that make this species exciting.

To learn how this organism relates to other bacteria go to Classification.
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