Blastococcus atacamensis sp. nov., a novel strain adapted to life in the Yungay core region of the Atacama Desert

Jean Franco Castro, Imen Nouioui, Vartul Sangal, Seonbin Choi, Seung-Jo Yang, Byung-Yong Kim, Martha E Trujillo, Raul Riesco, Maria Del Carmen Montero-Calasanz, Tara P D Rahmani, Alan T Bull, Iain C Sutcliffe, Juan A Asenjo, Barbara Andrews, Michael Goodfellow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
76 Downloads (Pure)


A polyphasic study was undertaken to establish the taxonomic status of a Blastococcus strain isolated from an extreme hyper-arid Atacama Desert soil. The isolate, strain P6T, was found to have chemotaxonomic and morphological properties consistent with its classification in the genus Blastococcus. It was shown to form a well-supported branch in the Blastococcus 16S rRNA gene tree together with the type strains of Blastococcus capsensis and Blastococcus saxobsidens and was distinguished from the latter, its close phylogenetic neighbour, by a broad range of phenotypic properties. The draft genome sequence of isolate P6T showed 84.6 % average nucleotide identity, 83.0 % average amino acid identity and a digital DNA-DNA hybridisation value of 27.8 % in comparison with the genome sequence of B. saxobsidens DSM 44509T, values consistent with its assignment to a separate species. Based on these data it is proposed that isolate P6T (NCIMB 15090T=NRRL B-65468T) be assigned to the genus Blastococcus as Blastococcus atacamensis sp. nov. Analysis of the whole genome sequence of B. atacamensis P6T, with 3778 open reading frames and a genome size of 3.9 Mb showed the presence of genes and gene clusters that encode for properties that reflect its adaptation to the extreme environmental conditions that prevail in Atacama Desert soils.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Blastococcus atacamensis sp. nov., a novel strain adapted to life in the Yungay core region of the Atacama Desert'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this