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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2002 Aug;68(8):4153-7.

Worldwide distribution of Nitrosococcus oceani, a marine ammonia-oxidizing gamma-proteobacterium, detected by PCR and sequencing of 16S rRNA and amoA genes.

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  • 1Department of Geosciences. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA.


Diversity of cultured ammonia-oxidizing bacteria in the gamma-subdivision of the Proteobacteria was investigated by using strains isolated from various parts of the world ocean. All the strains were very similar to each other on the basis of the sequences of both the 16S rRNA and ammonia monooxygenase genes and could be characterized as a single species. Sequences were also cloned directly from environmental DNA from coastal Pacific and Atlantic sites, and these sequences represented the first Nitrosococcus oceani-like sequences obtained directly from the ocean. Most of the environmental sequences clustered tightly with those of the cultivated strains, but some sequences could represent new species of NITROSOCOCCUS: These findings imply that organisms similar to the cultivated N. oceani strains have a worldwide distribution.

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