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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2003 Dec;63(2):107-14. Epub 2003 Sep 4.

Anaerobic ammonium oxidation by marine and freshwater planctomycete-like bacteria.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, KU Nijmegen, Toernooiveld 1, NL 6525 ED, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Recently, two fresh water species, " Candidatus Brocadia anammoxidans" and " Candidatus Kuenenia stuttgartiensis", and one marine species, " Candidatus Scalindua sorokinii", of planctomycete anammox bacteria have been identified. " Candidatus Scalindua sorokinii" was discovered in the Black Sea, and contributed substantially to the loss of fixed nitrogen. All three species contain a unique organelle--the anammoxosome--in their cytoplasm. The anammoxosome contains the hydrazine/hydroxylamine oxidoreductase enzyme, and is thus the site of anammox catabolism. The anammoxosome is surrounded by a very dense membrane composed almost exclusively of linearly concatenated cyclobutane-containing lipids. These so-called 'ladderanes' are connected to the glycerol moiety via both ester and ether bonds. In natural and man-made ecosystems, anammox bacteria can cooperate with aerobic ammonium-oxidising bacteria, which protect them from harmful oxygen, and provide the necessary nitrite. The cooperation of these two groups of ammonium-oxidising bacteria is the microbial basis for a sustainable one reactor system, CANON (completely autotrophic nitrogen-removal over nitrite) to remove ammonia from high strength wastewater.

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