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Autotrophic carbon fixation strategies used by nitrifying prokaryotes in freshwater lakes


Alfreider, Albin; Grimus, Victoria; Luger, Martin; Ekblad, Anja; Salcher, Michaela M; Summerer, Monika (2018). Autotrophic carbon fixation strategies used by nitrifying prokaryotes in freshwater lakes. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 94(10):fiy163.

Abstract

Niche specialisation of nitrifying prokaryotes is usually studied with tools targeting molecules involved in the oxidation of ammonia and nitrite. The ecological significance of diverse CO2 fixation strategies used by nitrifiers is, however, mostly unexplored. By analysing autotrophy-related genes in combination with amoA marker genes based on droplet digitial PCR and CARD-FISH counts targeting rRNA, we quantified the distribution of nitrifiers in eight stratified lakes. Ammonia oxidizing (AO) Thaumarchaeota using the 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate pathway dominated deep and oligotrophic lakes, whereas Nitrosomonas-related taxa employing the Calvin cycle were important ammonia oxidizing bacteria in smaller lakes. The occurrence of nitrite oxidizing Nitrospira, assimilating CO2 with the reductive TCA cycle, was strongly correlated with the distribution of Thaumarchaeota. Recently discovered complete ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (comammox) belonging to Nitrospira accounted only for a very small fraction of AOs present at the study sites. Altogether, this study gives a first insight on how physicochemical characteristics in lakes are associated to the distribution of nitrifying prokaryotes with different CO2 fixation strategies. Our investigations also evaluate the suitability of functional genes associated with individual CO2 assimilation pathways to study niche preferences of different guilds of nitrifying microorganisms based on an autotrophic perspective.

Abstract

Niche specialisation of nitrifying prokaryotes is usually studied with tools targeting molecules involved in the oxidation of ammonia and nitrite. The ecological significance of diverse CO2 fixation strategies used by nitrifiers is, however, mostly unexplored. By analysing autotrophy-related genes in combination with amoA marker genes based on droplet digitial PCR and CARD-FISH counts targeting rRNA, we quantified the distribution of nitrifiers in eight stratified lakes. Ammonia oxidizing (AO) Thaumarchaeota using the 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate pathway dominated deep and oligotrophic lakes, whereas Nitrosomonas-related taxa employing the Calvin cycle were important ammonia oxidizing bacteria in smaller lakes. The occurrence of nitrite oxidizing Nitrospira, assimilating CO2 with the reductive TCA cycle, was strongly correlated with the distribution of Thaumarchaeota. Recently discovered complete ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (comammox) belonging to Nitrospira accounted only for a very small fraction of AOs present at the study sites. Altogether, this study gives a first insight on how physicochemical characteristics in lakes are associated to the distribution of nitrifying prokaryotes with different CO2 fixation strategies. Our investigations also evaluate the suitability of functional genes associated with individual CO2 assimilation pathways to study niche preferences of different guilds of nitrifying microorganisms based on an autotrophic perspective.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Microbiology
Physical Sciences > Ecology
Life Sciences > Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Language:English
Date:1 October 2018
Deposited On:19 Feb 2019 15:27
Last Modified:12 Sep 2020 08:05
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0168-6496
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiy163

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