Changes in benthic denitrification, nitrate ammonification, and anammox process rates and nitrate and nitrite reductase gene abundances along an estuarine nutrient gradient (the colne estuary, United Kingdom)

Dong, L, Smith, C, Papaspyrou, S, Stott, A, Osborn, A and Nedwell, D 2009, 'Changes in benthic denitrification, nitrate ammonification, and anammox process rates and nitrate and nitrite reductase gene abundances along an estuarine nutrient gradient (the colne estuary, United Kingdom)', Applied and Environmental Microbiology, vol. 75, no. 10, pp. 3171-3179.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Changes in benthic denitrification, nitrate ammonification, and anammox process rates and nitrate and nitrite reductase gene abundances along an estuarine nutrient gradient (the colne estuary, United Kingdom)
Author(s) Dong, L
Smith, C
Papaspyrou, S
Stott, A
Osborn, A
Nedwell, D
Year 2009
Journal name Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume number 75
Issue number 10
Start page 3171
End page 3179
Total pages 9
Publisher American Society for Microbiology
Abstract Estuarine sediments are the location for significant bacterial removal of anthropogenically derived inorganic nitrogen, in particular nitrate, from the aquatic environment. In this study, rates of benthic denitrification (DN), dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA), and anammox (AN) at three sites along a nitrate concentration gradient in the Colne estuary, United Kingdom, were determined, and the numbers of functional genes (narG, napA, nirS, and nrfA) and corresponding transcripts encoding enzymes mediating nitrate reduction were determined by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR. In situ rates of DN and DNRA decreased toward the estuary mouth, with the findings from slurry experiments suggesting that the potential for DNRA increased while the DN potential decreased as nitrate concentrations declined. AN was detected only at the estuary head, accounting for ∼30% of N2 formation, with 16S rRNA genes from anammox-related bacteria also detected only at this site. Numbers of narG genes declined along the estuary, while napA gene numbers were stable, suggesting that NAP-mediated nitrate reduction remained important at low nitrate concentrations. nirS gene numbers (as indicators of DN) also decreased along the estuary, whereas nrfA (an indicator for DNRA) was detected only at the two uppermost sites. Similarly, nitrate and nitrite reductase gene transcripts were detected only at the top two sites. A regression analysis of log(n + 1) process rate data and log(n + 1) mean gene abundances showed significant relationships between DN and nirS and between DNRA and nrfA. Although these log-log relationships indicate an underlying relationship between the genetic potential for nitrate reduction and the corresponding process activity, fine-scale environmentally induced changes in rates of nitrate reduction are likely to be controlled at cellular and protein levels.
Subject Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) 16S rRNA gene
ANAMMOX
Aquatic environments
Bacterial removal
Dissimilatory nitrate reduction
Estuarine sediments
Functional genes
Genetic potential
In-situ
Inorganic nitrogen
Nitrate concentration
Nitrate reduction
Nitrite reductase genes
Nutrient gradients
Process activities
Protein level
Quantitative PCR
Reverse transcription
Slurry experiment
United kingdom
DOI - identifier 10.1128/AEM.02511-08
Copyright notice © 2009 American Society for Microbiology
ISSN 0099-2240
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