The Abundance of Ammonium-Oxidizing Bacteria in Lake Bonney, Antarctica Determined by Immunofluorescence, Pcr and In Situ Hybridization

  1. John C. Priscu
  1. Mary A. Voytek1,
  2. Bess B. Ward2 and
  3. John C. Priscu3

Published Online: 16 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/AR072p0217

Ecosystem Dynamics in a Polar Desert: the Mcmurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

Ecosystem Dynamics in a Polar Desert: the Mcmurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

How to Cite

Voytek, M. A., Ward, B. B. and Priscu, J. C. (1998) The Abundance of Ammonium-Oxidizing Bacteria in Lake Bonney, Antarctica Determined by Immunofluorescence, Pcr and In Situ Hybridization, in Ecosystem Dynamics in a Polar Desert: the Mcmurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica (ed J. C. Priscu), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/AR072p0217

Author Information

  1. 1

    Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey

  2. 2

    Marine Sciences Program, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California

  3. 3

    Department of Biological Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 28 JAN 1998

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875908991

Online ISBN: 9781118668313

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Keywords:

  • Desert ecology—Antarctica—McMurdo Dry Valleys

Summary

Previous studies of biogeochemical cycling in Lake Bonney, Antarctica, suggest that nitrification plays a central role in controlling the depth distributions of oxidized and reduced inorganic nitrogen in both east and west lobes. For example, there is a mid-depth N2O-N maximum of 41.6 μg at 1−1 (>500,000% saturation) in the east lobe, the highest level reported for a natural system. The source of this N2O peak is thought to be nitrification under conditions of low oxygen tension. Although nitrifying bacteria have been detected, attempts to isolate and culture them have been unsuccessful. This study examines three techniques for the determination of abundance of nitrifying bacteria in this lake. Applying a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay developed for the detection of ammonium-oxidizing bacteria belonging to the beta and gamma subclasses of the Proteobacteria, immunofluorescent antibody assay (IFA) and fluorescent probe in situ hybridization (FISH) techniques, the distribution and relative abundance of ammonium-oxidizers was examined. In general, nitriflers were detected at depths above the pycnocline and usually associated with decreasing concentrations of NH4+ and increasing concentrations of NO3− or NO2−. These data are consistent with the chemical distributions and the role of nitrifying bacteria in determining the distribution of nitrogen compounds in this lake.