Nitrogen cycling and community structure of proteobacterial beta-subgroup ammonia-oxidizing bacteria within polluted marine fish farm sediments.
ABSTRACT: A multidisciplinary approach was used to study the effects of pollution from a marine fish farm on nitrification rates and on the community structure of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria in the underlying sediment. Organic content, ammonium concentrations, nitrification rates, and ammonia oxidizer most-probable-number counts were determined in samples of sediment collected from beneath a fish cage and on a transect at 20 and 40 m from the cage. The data suggest that nitrogen cycling was significantly disrupted directly beneath the fish cage, with inhibition of nitrification and denitrification. Although visual examination indicated some slight changes in sediment appearance at 20 m, all other measurements were similar to those obtained at 40 m, where the sediment was considered pristine. The community structures of proteobacterial beta-subgroup ammonia-oxidizing bacteria at the sampling sites were compared by PCR amplification of 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA), using primers which target this group. PCR products were analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and with oligonucleotide hybridization probes specific for different ammonia oxidizers. A DGGE doublet observed in PCR products from the highly polluted fish cage sediment sample was present at a lower intensity in the 20-m sample but was absent from the pristine 40-m sample station. Band migration, hybridization, and sequencing demonstrated that the doublet corresponded to a marine Nitrosomonas group which was originally observed in 16S rDNA clone libraries prepared from the same sediment samples but with different PCR primers. Our data suggest that this novel Nitrosomonas subgroup was selected for within polluted fish farm sediments and that the relative abundance of this group was influenced by the extent of pollution.
Project description:The potential for oxidation of ammonia in anoxic marine sediments exists through anaerobic oxidation by Nitrosomonas-like organisms, utilizing nitrogen dioxide, coupling of nitrification, manganese reduction, and anaerobic oxidation of ammonium by planctomycetes (the Anammox process). Here we describe the presence of microbial communities with the potential to carry out these processes in a natural marine sediment system (Loch Duich, Scotland). Natural microbial communities of Planctomycetales-Verrucomicrobia and beta- and gamma-proteobacterial ammonia-oxidizing bacteria were characterized by analysis of 16S rRNA genes amplified using group-specific primers by PCR- and reverse transcription-PCR amplification of 16S rDNA and RNA, respectively. Amplification products were analyzed by sequencing of clones and by denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Amplification of primers specific for Planctomycetales-Verrucomicrobia and beta-proteobacterial ammonia-oxidizing bacteria generated products at all sampling sites and depths, but no product was generated using primers specific for gamma-proteobacterial ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. 16S rDNA DGGE banding patterns indicated complex communities of beta-proteobacterial ammonia-oxidizing bacteria in anoxic marine sediments. Phylogenetic analysis of sequences from clones and those excised from DGGE gels suggests dominance of Nitrosospira cluster 1-like organisms and of strains belonging to a novel cluster represented in dominant bands in 16S rRNA DGGE banding patterns. Their presence indicates a group of organisms closely related to recognized beta-proteobacterial ammonia-oxidizing bacteria that may be selected in anoxic environments and may be capable of anoxic ammonia oxidation. Sequence analysis of planctomycete clone libraries and sequences excised from DGGE gels also demonstrated a diverse microbial community and suggested the presence of new subdivisions, but no sequence related to recognized Anammox organisms was detected.
Project description:Nitrification, mediated by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), is important in global nitrogen cycling. In estuaries where gradients of salinity and ammonia concentrations occur, there may be differential selections for ammonia-oxidizer populations. The aim of this study was to examine the activity, abundance, and diversity of AOA and AOB in surface oxic sediments of a highly nutrified estuary that exhibits gradients of salinity and ammonium. AOB and AOA communities were investigated by measuring ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) gene abundance and nitrification potentials both spatially and temporally. Nitrification potentials differed along the estuary and over time, with the greatest nitrification potentials occurring mid-estuary (8.2 ?mol N grams dry weight [gdw](-1) day(-1) in June, increasing to 37.4 ?mol N gdw(-1) day(-1) in January). At the estuary head, the nitrification potential was 4.3 ?mol N gdw(-1) day(-1) in June, increasing to 11.7 ?mol N gdw(-1) day(-1) in January. At the estuary head and mouth, nitrification potentials fluctuated throughout the year. AOB amoA gene abundances were significantly greater (by 100-fold) than those of AOA both spatially and temporally. Nitrosomonas spp. were detected along the estuary by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) band sequence analysis. In conclusion, AOB dominated over AOA in the estuarine sediments, with the ratio of AOB/AOA amoA gene abundance increasing from the upper (freshwater) to lower (marine) regions of the Colne estuary. These findings suggest that in this nutrified estuary, AOB (possibly Nitrosomonas spp.) were of major significance in nitrification.
Project description:Ammonia oxidation-the microbial oxidation of ammonia to nitrite and the first step in nitrification-plays a central role in nitrogen cycling in coastal and estuarine systems. Nevertheless, questions remain regarding the connection between this biogeochemical process and the diversity and abundance of the mediating microbial community. In this study, we measured nutrient fluxes and rates of sediment nitrification in conjunction with the diversity and abundance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing betaproteobacteria (β-AOB). Sediments were examined from four sites in Elkhorn Slough, a small agriculturally impacted coastal California estuary that opens into Monterey Bay. Using an intact sediment core flowthrough incubation system, we observed significant correlations among NO(3)(-), NO(2)(-), NH(4)(+), and PO(4)(3+) fluxes, indicating a tight coupling of sediment biogeochemical processes. (15)N-based measurements of nitrification rates revealed higher rates at the less impacted, lower-nutrient sites than at the more heavily impacted, nutrient-rich sites. Quantitative PCR analyses revealed that β-AOB amoA (encoding ammonia monooxygenase subunit A) gene copies outnumbered AOA amoA gene copies by factors ranging from 2- to 236-fold across the four sites. Sites with high nitrification rates primarily contained marine/estuarine Nitrosospira-like bacterial amoA sequences and phylogenetically diverse archaeal amoA sequences. Sites with low nitrification rates were dominated by estuarine Nitrosomonas-like amoA sequences and archaeal amoA sequences similar to those previously described in soils. This is the first report measuring AOA and β-AOB amoA abundance in conjunction with (15)N-based nitrification rates in estuary sediments.
Project description:Ongoing anthropogenic eutrophication of Jiaozhou Bay offers an opportunity to study the influence of human activity on bacterial communities that drive biogeochemical cycling. Nitrification in coastal waters appears to be a sensitive indicator of environmental change, suggesting that function and structure of the microbial nitrifying community may be associated closely with environmental conditions. In the current study, the amoA gene was used to unravel the relationship between sediment aerobic obligate ammonia-oxidizing Betaproteobacteria (Beta-AOB) and their environment in Jiaozhou Bay. Protein sequences deduced from amoA gene sequences grouped within four distinct clusters in the Nitrosomonas lineage, including a putative new cluster. In addition, AmoA sequences belonging to three newly defined clusters in the Nitrosospira lineage were also identified. Multivariate statistical analyses indicated that the studied Beta-AOB community structures correlated with environmental parameters, of which nitrite-N and sediment sand content had significant impact on the composition, structure, and distribution of the Beta-AOB community. Both amoA clone library and quantitative PCR (qPCR) analyses indicated that continental input from the nearby wastewater treatment plants and polluted rivers may have significant impact on the composition and abundance of the sediment Beta-AOB assemblages in Jiaozhou Bay. Our work is the first report of a direct link between a sedimentological parameter and the composition and distribution of the sediment Beta-AOB and indicates the potential for using the Beta-AOB community composition in general and individual isolates or environmental clones in the Nitrosomonas oligotropha lineage in particular as bioindicators and biotracers of pollution or freshwater or wastewater input in coastal environments.
Project description:The aim of this study was to determine the effects of different agricultural treatments and plant communities on the diversity of ammonia oxidizer populations in soil. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), coupled with specific oligonucleotide probing, was used to analyze 16S rRNA genes of ammonia oxidizers belonging to the beta subgroup of the division Proteobacteria by use of DNA extracted from cultivated, successional, and native deciduous forest soils. Community profiles of the different soil types were compared with nitrification rates and most-probable-number (MPN) counts. Despite significant variation in measured nitrification rates among communities, there were no differences in the DGGE banding profiles of DNAs extracted from these soils. DGGE profiles of DNA extracted from samples of MPN incubations, cultivated at a range of ammonia concentrations, showed the presence of bands not amplified from directly extracted DNA. Nitrosomonas-like bands were seen in the MPN DNA but were not detected in the DNA extracted directly from soils. These bands were detected in some samples taken from MPN incubations carried out with medium containing 1,000 microg of NH(4)(+)-N ml(-1), to the exclusion of bands detected in the native DNA. Cell concentrations of ammonia oxidizers determined by MPN counts were between 10- and 100-fold lower than those determined by competitive PCR (cPCR). Although no differences were seen in ammonia oxidizer MPN counts from the different soil treatments, cPCR revealed higher numbers in fertilized soils. The use of a combination of traditional and molecular methods to investigate the activities and compositions of ammonia oxidizers in soil demonstrates differences in fine-scale compositions among treatments that may be associated with changes in population size and function.
Project description:The microbial community structure and activity dynamics of a phosphate-removing biofilm from a sequencing batch biofilm reactor were investigated with special focus on the nitrifying community. O(2), NO(2)(-), and NO(3)(-) profiles in the biofilm were measured with microsensors at various times during the nonaerated-aerated reactor cycle. In the aeration period, nitrification was oxygen limited and restricted to the first 200 microm at the biofilm surface. Additionally, a delayed onset of nitrification after the start of the aeration was observed. Nitrate accumulating in the biofilm in this period was denitrified during the nonaeration period of the next reactor cycle. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) revealed three distinct ammonia-oxidizing populations, related to the Nitrosomonas europaea, Nitrosomonas oligotropha, and Nitrosomonas communis lineages. This was confirmed by analysis of the genes coding for 16S rRNA and for ammonia monooxygenase (amoA). Based upon these results, a new 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probe specific for the Nitrosomonas oligotropha lineage was designed. FISH analysis revealed that the first 100 microm at the biofilm surface was dominated by members of the N. europaea and the N. oligotropha lineages, with a minor fraction related to N. communis. In deeper biofilm layers, exclusively members of the N. oligotropha lineage were found. This separation in space and a potential separation of activities in time are suggested as mechanisms that allow coexistence of the different ammonia-oxidizing populations. Nitrite-oxidizing bacteria belonged exclusively to the genus Nitrospira and could be assigned to a 16S rRNA sequence cluster also found in other sequencing batch systems.
Project description:Ammonia-oxidizing microbial communities involved in ammonia oxidation under low dissolved oxygen (DO) conditions (<0.3 mg/L) were investigated using chemostat reactors. One lab-scale reactor (NS_LowDO) was seeded with sludge from a full-scale wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) not adapted to low-DO nitrification, while a second reactor (JP_LowDO) was seeded with sludge from a full-scale WWTP already achieving low-DO nitrifiaction. The experimental evidence from quantitative PCR, rDNA tag pyrosequencing, and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) suggested that ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in the Nitrosomonas genus were responsible for low-DO nitrification in the NS_LowDO reactor, whereas in the JP_LowDO reactor nitrification was not associated with any known ammonia-oxidizing prokaryote. Neither reactor had a significant population of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) or anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) organisms. Organisms isolated from JP_LowDO were capable of autotrophic and heterotrophic ammonia utilization, albeit without stoichiometric accumulation of nitrite or nitrate. Based on the experimental evidence we propose that Pseudomonas, Xanthomonadaceae, Rhodococcus, and Sphingomonas are involved in nitrification under low-DO conditions.
Project description:The effect of ammonium addition (6.5, 58, and 395 microg of NH4+-N g [dry weight] of soil(-1)) on soil microbial communities was explored. For medium and high ammonium concentrations, increased N2O release rates and a shift toward a higher contribution of nitrification to N2O release occurred after incubation for 5 days at 4 degrees C. Communities of ammonia oxidizers were assayed after 4 weeks of incubation by denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of the amoA gene coding for the small subunit of ammonia monooxygenase. The DGGE fingerprints were invariably the same whether the soil was untreated or incubated with low, medium, or high ammonium concentrations. Phylogenetic analysis of cloned PCR products from excised DGGE bands detected amoA sequences which probably belonged to Nitrosospira 16S rRNA clusters 3 and 4. Additional clones clustered with Nitrosospira sp. strains Ka3 and Ka4 and within an amoA cluster from unknown species. A Nitrosomonas-like amoA gene was detected in only one clone. In agreement with the amoA results, community profiles of total bacteria analyzed by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) showed only minor differences. However, a community shift occurred for denitrifier populations based on T-RFLP analysis of nirK genes encoding copper-containing nitrite reductase with incubation at medium and high ammonia concentrations. Major terminal restriction fragments observed in environmental samples were further described by correspondence to cloned nirK genes from the same soil. Phylogenetic analysis grouped these clones into clusters of soil nirK genes. However, some clones were also closely related to genes from known denitrifiers. The shift in the denitrifier community was probably the consequence of the increased supply of oxidized nitrogen through nitrification. Nitrification activity increased upon addition of ammonium, but the community structure of ammonium oxidizers did not change.
Project description:Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) play important roles in nitrification. However, limited information about the characteristics of AOA and AOB in the river ecosystem is available. The distribution and abundance of AOA and AOB in the sediments of the Dongjiang River, a drinking water source for Hong Kong, were investigated by clone library analysis and quantitative real-time PCR. Phylogenetic analysis showed that Group 1.1b- and Group 1.1b-associated sequences of AOA predominated in sediments with comparatively high carbon and nitrogen contents (e.g. total carbon (TC) >13 g kg(-1) sediment, NH4(+)-N >144 mg kg(-1) sediment), while Group 1.1a- and Group 1.1a-associated sequences were dominant in sediments with opposite conditions (e.g. TC <4 g kg(-1) sediment, NH4(+)-N <93 mg kg(-1) sediment). Although Nitrosomonas- and Nitrosospira-related sequences of AOB were detected in the sediments, nearly 70% of the sequences fell into the Nitrosomonas-like B cluster, suggesting similar sediment AOB communities along the river. Higher abundance of AOB than AOA was observed in almost all of the sediments in the Dongjiang River, while significant correlations were only detected between the distribution of AOA and the sediment pH and TC, which suggested that AOA responded more sensitively than AOB to variations of environmental factors. These results extend our knowledge about the environmental responses of ammonia oxidizers in the river ecosystem.
Project description:Ammonium concentrations and temperature drive the activities of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), but their effects on these microbes in eutrophic freshwater sediments are unclear. In this study, surface sediments collected from areas of Taihu Lake (China) with different degrees of eutrophication were incubated under three levels of nitrogen input and temperature, and the autotrophic growth of ammonia oxidizers was assessed using 13C-labeled DNA-based stable-isotope probing (SIP), while communities were characterized using MiSeq sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA genes. Nitrification rates in sediment microcosms were positively correlated with nitrogen inputs, but there was no marked association with temperature. Incubation of SIP microcosms indicated that AOA and AOB amoA genes were labeled by 13C at 20°C and 30°C in the slightly eutrophic sediment, and AOB amoA genes were labeled to a much greater extent than AOA amoA genes in the moderately eutrophic sediment after 56 days. Phylogenetic analysis of 13C-labeled 16S rRNA genes revealed that the active AOA were mainly affiliated with the Nitrosopumilus cluster, with the Nitrososphaera cluster dominating in the slightly eutrophic sediment at 30°C with low ammonium input (1?mM). Active AOB communities were more sensitive to nitrogen input and temperature than were AOA communities, and they were exclusively dominated by the Nitrosomonas cluster, which tended to be associated with Nitrosomonadaceae-like lineages. Nitrosomonas sp. strain Is79A3 tended to dominate the moderately eutrophic sediment at 10°C with greater ammonium input (2.86?mM). The relative abundance responses of the major active communities to nitrogen input and temperature gradients varied, indicating niche differentiation and differences in the physiological metabolism of ammonia oxidizers that are yet to be described.IMPORTANCE Both archaea and bacteria contribute to ammonia oxidation, which plays a central role in the global cycling of nitrogen and is important for reducing eutrophication in freshwater environments. The abundance and activities of ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria in eutrophic limnic sediments vary with different ammonium concentrations or with seasonal shifts, and how the two factors affect nitrification activity, microbial roles, and active groups in different eutrophic sediments is unclear. The significance of our research is in identifying the archaeal and bacterial responses to anthropogenic activity and climate change, which will greatly enhance our understanding of the physiological metabolic differences of ammonia oxidizers.