DNA stable isotope probing revealed no incorporation of ¹³CO₂ into comammox Nitrospira but ammonia-oxidizing archaea in a subtropical acid soil
Purpose: The recently discovered complete ammonia oxidizers (comammox Nitrospira) challenged our concept of the whole nitrification process, i.e., ammonia oxidation catalyzed by autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB), followed by the oxidation of nitrite to nitrate. However, the relative contributions of different ammonia oxidizers to soil nitrification are poorly understood. Materials and methods: Soil samples were collected from five land use types (i.e., cropland, grassland, bushland, transition land, and forest land) from a subtropical soil in Yunnan Province, Southwest China. The quantitative distribution of comammox Nitrospira, AOA and AOB in soils was firstly investigated using the QPCR approach and three of which (cropland, transition land and forest land) with pH below 6 were further examined using DNA stable isotope probing approach with ¹³CO₂. Clone library combined with sequencing was applied to detect the phylogenetic information of active microbial groups. Results and discussion: The results showed that the amoA gene abundance of ammonia oxidizers except AOB was significantly lower in croplands than other land uses. Based on the ¹³CO₂ labeling method, AOA, rather than AOB or comammox Nitrospira, was found to incorporate ¹³CO₂ into their genomes during the incubation in cropland and transition land but not in forest land, suggesting the dominant role of AOA in ammonia oxidation. Phylogenetic analysis of the active AOA group revealed that autotrophic AOA community was mainly affiliated with the cluster of Nitrososphaera in transition land, whereas Nitrososphaera, Nitrosopumilus, and Nitrosotalea in cropland. Conclusions: These findings suggested niche differentiation of AOB, AOA, and comammox Nitrospira in the subtropical acid soil with different land uses, and AOA played a more important role in nitrification process of this acid soil.... [Show full abstract]
KeywordsamoA gene; comammox; nitrification; stable isotope labeling; subtropical acid soil; Environmental Sciences
Fields of Research050304 Soil Chemistry (excl. Carbon Sequestration Science); 050303 Soil Biology
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