Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Nov;76(22):7575-87. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01478-10. Epub 2010 Sep 24.

Cultivation of autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing archaea from marine sediments in coculture with sulfur-oxidizing bacteria.

Author information

Department of Microbiology, Chungbuk National University, Heungduk-gu, Cheongju 361-763, South Korea.


The role of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) in nitrogen cycling in marine sediments remains poorly characterized. In this study, we enriched and characterized AOA from marine sediments. Group I.1a crenarchaea closely related to those identified in marine sediments and "Candidatus Nitrosopumilus maritimus" (99.1 and 94.9% 16S rRNA and amoA gene sequence identities to the latter, respectively) were substantially enriched by coculture with sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (SOB). The selective enrichment of AOA over ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) is likely due to the reduced oxygen levels caused by the rapid initial growth of SOB. After biweekly transfers for ca. 20 months, archaeal cells became the dominant prokaryotes (>80%), based on quantitative PCR and fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis. The increase of archaeal 16S rRNA gene copy numbers was coincident with the amount of ammonia oxidized, and expression of the archaeal amoA gene was observed during ammonia oxidation. Bacterial amoA genes were not detected in the enrichment culture. The affinities of these AOA to oxygen and ammonia were substantially higher than those of AOB. [(13)C]bicarbonate incorporation and the presence and activation of genes of the 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate cycle indicated autotrophy during ammonia oxidation. In the enrichment culture, ammonium was oxidized to nitrite by the AOA and subsequently to nitrate by Nitrospina-like bacteria. Our experiments suggest that AOA may be important nitrifiers in low-oxygen environments, such as oxygen-minimum zones and marine sediments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication type, MeSH terms, Substances, Secondary source ID

Publication type

MeSH terms


Secondary source ID

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center