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Keywords:

  • Nitrifier;
  • Ammonia monooxygenase;
  • Sequence comparison;
  • Transcription

Abstract

Nitrifying bacteria such as Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrosospira sp. NpAV use ammonia monooxygenase (AMO) for oxidation of their primary growth substrate, ammonia. Two polypeptides of AMO are coded for by contiguous genes, amoA and amoB, which are preceded by a third gene, amoC. The amoCAB clusters are present in multiple copies in nitrifying bacteria of the β subdivision. These bacteria also have one amoC copy that is not adjacent to a copy of amoAB. The seven known amoC genes in different nitrifiers code for similar polypeptides (>68%). Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reactions and Northern blots indicated that amoC from the amoCAB cluster is contained on a transcript with amoAB. Two other transcripts were detected with amo probes and may be a product of processing of the amoCAB mRNA or independent transcripts.