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Nat Commun. 2018 Apr 17;9(1):1517. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03861-1.

Unifying the global phylogeny and environmental distribution of ammonia-oxidising archaea based on amoA genes.

Author information

1
Archaea Biology and Ecogenomics Division, Department of Ecogenomics and Systems Biology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090, Vienna, Austria.
2
Center for Integrative Bioinformatics Vienna, Max F. Perutz Laboratories, University of Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, Campus Vienna Biocenter 5, Dr. Bohr Gasse 9, 1030, Vienna, Austria.
3
Ecology and Evolution, Research School of Biology, Australian National University, 2601, Canberra, ACT, Australia.
4
Institute of Microbiology, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University, Felix-Hausdorff-Strasse 8, 17487, Greifswald, Germany.
5
Archaea Biology and Ecogenomics Division, Department of Ecogenomics and Systems Biology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090, Vienna, Austria. christa.schleper@univie.ac.at.

Abstract

Ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) are ubiquitous and abundant in nature and play a major role in nitrogen cycling. AOA have been studied intensively based on the amoA gene (encoding ammonia monooxygenase subunit A), making it the most sequenced functional marker gene. Here, based on extensive phylogenetic and meta-data analyses of 33,378 curated archaeal amoA sequences, we define a highly resolved taxonomy and uncover global environmental patterns that challenge many earlier generalisations. Particularly, we show: (i) the global frequency of AOA is extremely uneven, with few clades dominating AOA diversity in most ecosystems; (ii) characterised AOA do not represent most predominant clades in nature, including soils and oceans; (iii) the functional role of the most prevalent environmental AOA clade remains unclear; and (iv) AOA harbour molecular signatures that possibly reflect phenotypic traits. Our work synthesises information from a decade of research and provides the first integrative framework to study AOA in a global context.

PMID:
29666365
PMCID:
PMC5904100
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-03861-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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