In order to compete in the oceanic environment it lives in Salinispora tropica has developed secondary metabolites that fight off both predators and competing bacteria. Furthermore in iron depleted environments the bacterium produces iron kelators, which attract iron and help the organism to survive.

    In most marine bacteria an electron transport chain called NQR is found. Instead of pumping protons (H+) it pumps sodium out of the membrane. It is not yet clear whether this is the mechanism through which S. tropica is able to tolerate high salinity environments.   

  This bacteria is only found in the tropics and more specifically only in the Bahamas. This is due to the fact that it requires both a temperature optimum of between 20° - 28° C and a salinity of 25 - 50% for the most growth. It can survive temperatures anywhere from  10° - 30° C.

Nutrition and Reproduction