Ectoin (1,4,5,6-tetrahydro-2-methyl-4-pyrimidinecarboxylic acid) is a natural compound found in several species of bacteria. It is a compatible solute which serves as a protective substance by acting as an osmolyte and thus helps organisms survive extreme osmotic stress. Ectoine is found in high concentrations in halophilic microorganisms and confers resistance towards salt and temperature stress. Ectoine was first identified in the microorganism Ectothiorhodospira halochloris, but has since been found in a wide range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Other species of bacteria in which ectoine was found include.
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