Distribution and diversity of anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing bacteria in the sediments of the Qiantang River


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Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) is an important process in the marine nitrogen cycle. However, little is known about the distribution, diversity and abundance of anammox bacteria in inland river ecosystems. Here, we found the presence of diverse anammox bacteria in a freshwater river – the Qiantang River, Zhejiang Province (China). The phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA genes showed that Brocadia genus, Kuenenia genus, Scalindua genus and three new anammox bacterial clusters could be detected together in Qiantang River sediments, suggesting a higher anammox bacterial diversity in the Qiantang River ecosystem than in open ocean environments where only Scalindua genus was detected. Brocadia and Kuenenia appeared to be the most common anammox bacterial genera in the Qiantang River. Redundancy analysis showed that the sediment organic carbon (OrgC) content had significant influence on the distribution of anammox bacteria in Qiantang River sediments. Pearson correlation analyses showed that OrgC content significantly influenced the anammox bacterial diversity. The results of real-time quantitative PCR showed spatial variations of anammox bacterial abundances which were highly correlated with the sediment total inorganic nitrogen content. These results demonstrated the distribution of diverse anammox bacteria and the influences of environmental factors on anammox bacterial communities in Qiantang River sediments.