The study of a sample collected from a wind-made ice sculpture near Lake Podprudnoe, Antarctica led to the isolation of
the psychrotolerant strain ISLP-3. Cells of the new isolate are vibrio-shaped that measure 0.5 x 1.0-3.0 μm in size.
Growth occurs within the temperature range 5-35ºC with the optimum at 22 °C. Salinity range for growth is 0-2 % NaCl
with the optimum at 0.25 %. The new isolate grows within a pH range from 6.0 to 9.5 with the optimum at 7.5. Strain
ISLP-3 is saccharolytic, growing on the following substrates: D-glucose, D-ribose, D-fructose, D-arabinose, maltose,
sucrose, D-trehalose, D-mannose, D-cellobiose, lactose, starch, chitin, triethylamine, N-acetylglucosamine, and urea.
The best growth occurred on D-cellobiose. An environmental sample of pond water near a colony of the endemic
species of African penguins, Spheniscus demersus, was collected in February 2008 and delivered directly to the
Astrobiology laboratory at NSSTC. The microbiological study of this sample led to the isolation of two psychrotolerant
strains ARHSd-7G and ARHSd-9G. Both strains are strictly anaerobic bacteria and are able to grow at high pH and low
temperatures. The cells of strain ARHSd-7G are motile, vibrio-shaped, spore-forming cells. Optimal growth of this strain
occurs at 30 ºC, 3 % NaCl, and pH 8.9. The isolate ARHSd-7G combines sugarlytic and proteolytic metabolisms,
growing on some proteolysis products including peptone and yeast extract and a number of sugars. The second isolate,
ARHSd-9G, exhibits thin, elongated rods that measure 0.4 x 3-5 μm. The cells are motile and spore-forming. Optimal
growth of strain ARHSd-9G occurs at 30 ºC, 1.75 % NaCl, and pH 8.5. The strain ARHSd-9G is sugarlytic, growing
well on substrates such as D-glucose, sucrose, D-cellobiose, maltose, fructose, D-mannose, and trehalose (the only
exception is positive growth on yeast extract). In this report, the physiological and morphological characteristics of the
novel psychrotolerant, alkaliphilic, and neutrophilic isolates from the Antarctica 2008 expedition will be discussed.