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PLoS One. 2014 Feb 3;9(2):e87976. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087976. eCollection 2014.

Identification of nitrogen-fixing genes and gene clusters from metagenomic library of acid mine drainage.

Author information

1
School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha, P. R. China.
2
School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha, P. R. China ; Key Laboratory of Biometallurgy of Ministry of Education, Central South University, Changsha, P. R. China.

Abstract

Biological nitrogen fixation is an essential function of acid mine drainage (AMD) microbial communities. However, most acidophiles in AMD environments are uncultured microorganisms and little is known about the diversity of nitrogen-fixing genes and structure of nif gene cluster in AMD microbial communities. In this study, we used metagenomic sequencing to isolate nif genes in the AMD microbial community from Dexing Copper Mine, China. Meanwhile, a metagenome microarray containing 7,776 large-insertion fosmids was constructed to screen novel nif gene clusters. Metagenomic analyses revealed that 742 sequences were identified as nif genes including structural subunit genes nifH, nifD, nifK and various additional genes. The AMD community is massively dominated by the genus Acidithiobacillus. However, the phylogenetic diversity of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms is much higher than previously thought in the AMD community. Furthermore, a 32.5-kb genomic sequence harboring nif, fix and associated genes was screened by metagenome microarray. Comparative genome analysis indicated that most nif genes in this cluster are most similar to those of Herbaspirillum seropedicae, but the organization of the nif gene cluster had significant differences from H. seropedicae. Sequence analysis and reverse transcription PCR also suggested that distinct transcription units of nif genes exist in this gene cluster. nifQ gene falls into the same transcription unit with fixABCX genes, which have not been reported in other diazotrophs before. All of these results indicated that more novel diazotrophs survive in the AMD community.

PMID:
24498417
PMCID:
PMC3912193
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0087976
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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