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Microbes Environ. 2011;26(1):23-9.

Enrichment of a novel marine ammonia-oxidizing archaeon obtained from sand of an eelgrass zone.

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Graduate School of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, 1866 Kameino, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252–0880, Japan.


Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) are generally cultivated at ammonium concentrations of less than 2 mM. The physiology and abundance in the environment of AOA suggest an important role in the nitrogen cycle. We report here a novel marine ammonia-oxidizing crenarchaeote, strain NM25 belonged to 'Candidatus Nitrosopumilus', that was enriched from coastal sand of an eelgrass zone and grew in a medium containing 15 mM ammonium at 30°C. A phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene revealed this crenarchaeote was related to the ammonia-oxidizing archaeon 'Candidatus Nitrosopumilus maritimus' strain SCM1, with 98.5% identity. The ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) gene of strain NM25 was less closely related to that of known cultivable AOA (>95%) and environmental clones (>97%). This finding suggests the existence of AOA adapted to high ammonium-containing environments.

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