Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1038/s41396-023-01471-4
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Differential contribution of nitrifying prokaryotes to groundwater nitrification
Author Krüger, M.; Chaudhari, N.; Thamdrup, B.; Overholt, W.A.; Bristow, L.A.; Taubert, M.; Küsel, K.; Jehmlich, N. ORCID logo ; von Bergen, M.; Herrmann, M.
Source Titel ISME Journal
Year 2023
Department iDiv; MOLSYB
Volume 17
Issue 10
Page From 1601
Page To 1611
Language englisch
Topic T9 Healthy Planet
Abstract The ecophysiology of complete ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (CMX) of the genus Nitrospira and their widespread occurrence in groundwater suggests that CMX bacteria have a competitive advantage over ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) in these environments. However, the specific contribution of their activity to nitrification processes has remained unclear. We aimed to disentangle the contribution of CMX, AOA and AOB to nitrification and to identify the environmental drivers of their niche differentiation at different levels of ammonium and oxygen in oligotrophic carbonate rock aquifers. CMX ammonia monooxygenase sub-unit A (amoA) genes accounted on average for 16 to 75% of the total groundwater amoA genes detected. Nitrification rates were positively correlated to CMX clade A associated phylotypes and AOB affiliated with Nitrosomonas ureae. Short-term incubations amended with the nitrification inhibitors allylthiourea and chlorate suggested that AOB contributed a large fraction to overall ammonia oxidation, while metaproteomics analysis confirmed an active role of CMX in both ammonia and nitrite oxidation. Ecophysiological niche differentiation of CMX clades A and B, AOB and AOA was linked to their requirements for ammonium, oxygen tolerance, and metabolic versatility. Our results demonstrate that despite numerical predominance of CMX, the first step of nitrification in oligotrophic groundwater appears to be primarily governed by AOB. Higher growth yields at lower ammonia turnover rates and energy derived from nitrite oxidation most likely enable CMX to maintain consistently high populations.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Krüger, M., Chaudhari, N., Thamdrup, B., Overholt, W.A., Bristow, L.A., Taubert, M., Küsel, K., Jehmlich, N., von Bergen, M., Herrmann, M. (2023):
Differential contribution of nitrifying prokaryotes to groundwater nitrification
ISME J. 17 (10), 1601 - 1611 10.1038/s41396-023-01471-4