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Keywords:

  • Nitrosospira sp. AHB1;
  • Nitrosolobus multiformis C-71;
  • Ammonia monooxygenase genes;
  • 16S rDNA

Abstract DNA encoding ammonia monooxygenase from two phylogenetically related autotrophic nitrifying bacteria, Nitrosospira sp. AHB1 and Nitrosolobus multiformis C-71, was amplified by PCR. The resulting products were cloned into the vector pCR-Script. A continuous region of DNA of about 1.5 kb for strain AHB1 and 1.24 kb for N. multiformis C-71 was analysed. These comprised the major part of the gene amoA encoding the active site polypeptide and, directly downstream, the 5′ portion of the amoB gene. The identity values for these sequences at the amino acid level were 93.0% for amoA and 96.1% for amoB. The corresponding values for the nucleic acid sequences were 86.7% and 88.8%, respectively. The identity of the 16S rRNA gene of strain AHB1 to that of N. multiformis C-71 was at least 98.5%. The different degree of sequence conservation between the 16S rDNA and the genes encoding for ammonia monooxygenase facilitates the application of the latter as a molecular tool for a fine-scale differentiation of autotrophic nitrifying bacteria, at the species or strain level, in both environmental and cultivation studies.