We report on cultivation and characterization of an association between
Nanohalobium constans and its host, the chitinotrophic haloarchaeon
LC1Hm, obtained from a crystallizer pond of marine solar salterns. High-quality nanohaloarchael genome sequence in conjunction with electron- and fluorescence microscopy, growth analysis, and proteomic and metabolomic data revealed mutually beneficial interactions between two archaea, and allowed dissection of the mechanisms for these interactions. Owing to their ubiquity in hypersaline environments, Nanohaloarchaeota may play a role in carbon turnover and ecosystem functioning, yet insights into the nature of this have been lacking. Here, we provide evidence that nanohaloarchaea can expand the range of available substrates for the haloarchaeon, suggesting that the ectosymbiont increases the metabolic capacity of the host.