Aquatic environment

Spatial distribution of archaeal and bacterial ammonia oxidizers in the littoral buffer zone of a nitrogen-rich lake

Yu Wang , Guibing Zhu , Lei Ye , Xiaojuan Feng , Huub J. M. Op den Camp , Chengqing Yin


Received July 17, 2011,Revised September 23, 2011, Accepted , Available online May 06, 2012

Volume 24,2012,Pages 790-799

The spatial distribution and diversity of archaeal and bacterial ammonia oxidizers (AOA and AOB) were evaluated targeting amoA genes in the gradient of a littoral buffer zone which has been identified as a hot spot for N cycling. Here we found high spatial heterogeneity in the nitrification rate and abundance of ammonia oxidizers in the five sampling sites. The bacterial amoA gene was numerically dominant in most of the surface soil but decreased dramatically in deep layers. Higher nitrification potentials were detected in two sites near the land/water interface at 4.4-6.1 μg NO2--N/(g dry weight soil·hr), while only 1.0-1.7 μg NO2--N/(g dry weight soil·hr) was measured at other sites. The potential nitrification rates were proportional to the amoA gene abundance for AOB, but with no significant correlation with AOA. The NH4 + concentration was the most determinative parameter for the abundance of AOB and potential nitrification rates in this study. Higher richness in the surface layer was found in the analysis of biodiversity. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that most of the bacterial amoA sequences in surface soil were affiliated with the genus of Nitrosopira while the archaeal sequences were almost equally affiliated with Candidatus ‘Nitrososphaera gargensis’ and Candidatus ‘Nitrosocaldus yellowstonii’. The spatial distribution of AOA and AOB indicated that bacteria may play a more important role in nitrification in the littoral buffer zone of a N-rich lake.