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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Jul;76(14):4691-702. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02563-09. Epub 2010 May 28.

Diversity, abundance, and spatial distribution of sediment ammonia-oxidizing Betaproteobacteria in response to environmental gradients and coastal eutrophication in Jiaozhou Bay, China.

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  • 1China University of Petroleum, Qingdao, China.


Ongoing anthropogenic eutrophication of Jiaozhou Bay offers an opportunity to study the influence of human activity on bacterial communities that drive biogeochemical cycling. Nitrification in coastal waters appears to be a sensitive indicator of environmental change, suggesting that function and structure of the microbial nitrifying community may be associated closely with environmental conditions. In the current study, the amoA gene was used to unravel the relationship between sediment aerobic obligate ammonia-oxidizing Betaproteobacteria (Beta-AOB) and their environment in Jiaozhou Bay. Protein sequences deduced from amoA gene sequences grouped within four distinct clusters in the Nitrosomonas lineage, including a putative new cluster. In addition, AmoA sequences belonging to three newly defined clusters in the Nitrosospira lineage were also identified. Multivariate statistical analyses indicated that the studied Beta-AOB community structures correlated with environmental parameters, of which nitrite-N and sediment sand content had significant impact on the composition, structure, and distribution of the Beta-AOB community. Both amoA clone library and quantitative PCR (qPCR) analyses indicated that continental input from the nearby wastewater treatment plants and polluted rivers may have significant impact on the composition and abundance of the sediment Beta-AOB assemblages in Jiaozhou Bay. Our work is the first report of a direct link between a sedimentological parameter and the composition and distribution of the sediment Beta-AOB and indicates the potential for using the Beta-AOB community composition in general and individual isolates or environmental clones in the Nitrosomonas oligotropha lineage in particular as bioindicators and biotracers of pollution or freshwater or wastewater input in coastal environments.

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