Henrich Klebahn was a German linguist, mycologist and phytopathologist, who was known as Dr. Dr. h. c. Henrich Klebahn, Hauptcustos a. D., Honorarprofessor an der Hanischen Universität. He was born February 20, 1859 in Bremen, and died October 5, 1942 in Hamburg. He taught linguistics from 1885-1899, studied Natural Science at the Universities of Jena and Berlin (1881) and received his PhD from the University of Jena. In 1899, he was appointed scientific assistant at the Hamburg botanical garden, where he worked until 1905. From 1905 to 1930, he was at the agricultural institute of Bromberg. In 1921, he was named honorary professor and lecturer in cryptogams and soil biology at the Institut für Allgemeine Botanik where he taught until 1934. He is well known for his work on gas vesicles and halophiles, among other topics.
This re-print of 'Die Schädlinge des Klippfisches. Ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis der salzliebenden Organismen. Von H. Klebahn. Mit zwei Tafeln und vier Abbildungen im Text.' was originally published in 1919 in the Jahrbuch der Hamb. Wissensch. Anstaltes. XXXVI. Beiheft pages 11-69, by Latcke & Waltt, E. H. Buchdrucker. The translators have tried to remain faithful to the contents and to the original sense of the article by minimizing modifications.
The original paper reported the conclusions of a 3 year long study of the microbes causing damage to the fish industry as well as a summation of work on the subject up until 1919. The findings were that the causative agents were fungi and other microbes, the chief of which was a red, Gram-negative rod-shaped bacillus, Bacillus halobius ruber, that formed pale reddish colonies and was found to oscillate, but after extensive testing, was found not possess flagella. The initial appearance of "a shiny corpuscle" at the ends of cells was determined not to be spores; rather that it was the "result of the coherence of the light beams due to a total reflection of the light in the optically denser little rods". The cells were osmotically sensitive to the addition of water. In addition, a Gram-negative, red Sarcina morrhuae that appeared pinker in color, was less salt-sensitive than the red bacillus, in fact surviving the transfer to water. These were "round individual cells or groups of only two or four cells, usually; however, there are eight or more round cells that are arranged like cube corners to great cube-like or irregular packages lying together, just in the same manner as with the familiar Sarcina ventriculi." This organism was also identified from the walls of a fish storage room. Finally, a third, red microorganism was isolated: a Gram-negative micrococcus, Micrococcus (Diplococcus) morrhuae, which was "spherically rounded" and barely sensitive to water: "If one distributes a sample of a colony in water, the cells partly separate, to a great degree; however, they stay together in groups of two or four cells."
This article provides evidence for identification of halophilic microbes as the major cause of fish spoilage, and is one of the earliest publications in the field of halophile microbiology.