Editor: Eva Top
Environmental factors shaping the ecological niches of ammonia-oxidizing archaea
Article first published online: 21 APR 2009
© 2009 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved
FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Volume 33, Issue 5, pages 855–869, September 2009
How to Cite
Erguder, T. H., Boon, N., Wittebolle, L., Marzorati, M. and Verstraete, W. (2009), Environmental factors shaping the ecological niches of ammonia-oxidizing archaea. FEMS Microbiology Reviews, 33: 855–869. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6976.2009.00179.x
- Issue published online: 30 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2009
- Received 2 June 2008; revised 12 March 2009; accepted 13 March 2009.Final version published online 21 April 2009.
- ammonia-oxidizing bacteria;
- dissolved oxygen;
For more than 100 years it was believed that bacteria were the only group responsible for the oxidation of ammonia. However, recently, a new strain of archaea bearing a putative ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) gene and able to oxidize ammonia was isolated from a marine aquarium tank. Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) were subsequently discovered in many ecosystems of varied characteristics and even found as the predominant causal organisms in some environments. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the environmental conditions related to the presence of AOA and discuss the possible site-related properties. Considering these data, we deduct the possible niches of AOA based on pH, sulfide and phosphate levels. It is proposed that the AOA might be important actors within the nitrogen cycle in low-nutrient, low-pH, and sulfide-containing environments.