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Microbiology. 2008 Jul;154(Pt 7):2084-95. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.2007/013581-0.

Diversity and spatial distribution of sediment ammonia-oxidizing crenarchaeota in response to estuarine and environmental gradients in the Changjiang Estuary and East China Sea.

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Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266555, China.


Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) have recently been found to be potentially important in nitrogen cycling in a variety of environments, such as terrestrial soils, wastewater treatment reactors, marine waters and sediments, and especially in estuaries, where high input of anthropogenic nitrogen is often experienced. The sedimentary AOA diversity, community structure and spatial distribution in the Changjiang Estuary and the adjacent East China Sea were studied. Multivariate statistical analysis indicated that the archaeal amoA genotype communities could be clustered according to sampling transects, and the station located in an estuarine mixing zone harboured a distinct AOA community. The distribution of AOA communities correlated significantly with the gradients of surface-water salinity and sediment sorting coefficient. The spatial distribution of putative soil-related AOA in certain sampling stations indicated a strong impact of the Changjiang freshwater discharge on the marine benthic microbial ecosystem. Besides freshwater, nutrients, organic matter and suspended particles, the Changjiang Diluted Water might also contribute to the transport of terrestrial archaea into the seawater and sediments along its flow path.

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