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Microbes Environ. 2011;26(1):15-22.

Seasonal dynamics of anammox bacteria in estuarial sediment of the Mai Po Nature Reserve revealed by analyzing the 16S rRNA and hydrazine oxidoreductase (hzo) genes.

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School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong SAR, PR China.


The community and population dynamics of anammox bacteria in summer (wet) and winter (dry) seasons in estuarial mudflat sediment of the Mai Po Nature Reserve were investigated by 16S rRNA and hydrazine oxidoreductase (hzo) genes. 16S rRNA phylogenetic diversity showed that sequences related to 'Kuenenia' anammox bacteria were presented in summer but not winter while 'Scalindua' anammox bacteria occurred in both seasons and could be divided into six different clusters. Compared to the 16S rRNA genes, the hzo genes revealed a relatively uniform seasonal diversity, with sequences relating to 'Scalindua', 'Anammoxoglobus', and planctomycete KSU-1 found in both seasons. The seasonal specific bacterial groups and diversity based on the 16S rRNA and hzo genes indicated strong seasonal community structures in estuary sediment of this site. Furthermore, the higher abundance of hzo genes in summer than winter indicates clear seasonal population dynamics. Combining the physicochemical characteristics of estuary sediment in the two seasons and their correlations with anammox bacteria community structure, we proposed the strong seasonal dynamics in estuary sediment of Mai Po to be due to the anthropogenic and terrestrial inputs, especially in summer, which brings in freshwater anammox bacteria, such as 'Kuenenia', interacting with the coastal marine anammox bacteria 'Scalindua'.

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