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Difference of nitrogen-cycling microbes between shallow bay and deep-sea sediments in the South China Sea

Yu, Tiantian, Li, Meng, Niu, Mingyang, Fan, Xibei, Liang, Wenyue, Wang, Fengping
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2018 v.102 no.1 pp. 447-459
ammonia, ammonium, anaerobic ammonium oxidation, denitrification, denitrifying microorganisms, genes, marine sediments, microbial communities, nitrate reduction, nitrogen cycle, nitrogen fixation, oxidation, phylogeny, prokaryotic cells, South China Sea
In marine sediments, microorganisms are known to play important roles in nitrogen cycling; however, the composition and quantity of microbes taking part in each process of nitrogen cycling are currently unclear. In this study, two different types of marine sediment samples (shallow bay and deep-sea sediments) in the South China Sea (SCS) were selected to investigate the microbial community involved in nitrogen cycling. The abundance and composition of prokaryotes and seven key functional genes involved in five processes of the nitrogen cycle [nitrogen fixation, nitrification, denitrification, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA), and anaerobic ammonia oxidation (anammox)] were presented. The results showed that a higher abundance of denitrifiers was detected in shallow bay sediments, while a higher abundance of microbes involved in ammonia oxidation, anammox, and DNRA was found in the deep-sea sediments. Moreover, phylogenetic differentiation of bacterial amoA, nirS, nosZ, and nrfA sequences between the two types of sediments was also presented, suggesting environmental selection of microbes with the same geochemical functions but varying physiological properties.