Editor: Christoph Tebbe
Growth of ammonia-oxidizing archaea in soil microcosms is inhibited by acetylene
Article first published online: 22 JUN 2009
© 2009 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved
FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Volume 70, Issue 1, pages 99–108, October 2009
How to Cite
Offre, P., Prosser, J. I. and Nicol, G. W. (2009), Growth of ammonia-oxidizing archaea in soil microcosms is inhibited by acetylene. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 70: 99–108. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2009.00725.x
- Issue published online: 3 SEP 2009
- Article first published online: 22 JUN 2009
- Received 10 February 2009; revised 7 May 2009; accepted 3 June 2009.Final version published online 27 July 2009.
- ammonia-oxidizing archaea;
- ammonia-oxidizing bacteria;
- acetylene inhibition
Autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria were considered to be responsible for the majority of ammonia oxidation in soil until the recent discovery of the autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing archaea. To assess the relative contributions of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers to soil ammonia oxidation, their growth was analysed during active nitrification in soil microcosms incubated for 30 days at 30 °C, and the effect of an inhibitor of ammonia oxidation (acetylene) on their growth and soil nitrification kinetics was determined. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of bacterial ammonia oxidizer 16S rRNA genes did not detect any change in their community composition during incubation, and quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis of bacterial amoA genes indicated a small decrease in abundance in control and acetylene-containing microcosms. DGGE fingerprints of archaeal amoA and 16S rRNA genes demonstrated changes in the relative abundance of specific crenarchaeal phylotypes during active nitrification. Growth was also indicated by increases in crenarchaeal amoA gene copy number, determined by qPCR. In microcosms containing acetylene, nitrification and growth of the crenarchaeal phylotypes were suppressed, suggesting that these crenarchaea are ammonia oxidizers. Growth of only archaeal but not bacterial ammonia oxidizers occurred in microcosms with active nitrification, indicating that ammonia oxidation was mostly due to archaea in the conditions of the present study.