Health & Environmental Research Online (HERO)

Print Feedback Export to File
Journal Article 
Shifts between ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea in relation to nitrification potential across trophic gradients in two large Chinese lakes (Lake Taihu and Lake Chaohu) 
Hou, J; Song, C; Cao, X; Zhou, Y 
In Press 
Water Research
ISSN: 0043-1354
EISSN: 1879-2448 
Ammonia oxidation plays a pivotal role in the cycling and removal of nitrogen in aquatic ecosystems. Recent findings have expanded the known ammonia-oxidizing prokaryotes from Bacteria to Archaea. However, the relative importance of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) in nitrification is still debated. Here we showed that, in two large eutrophic lakes in China (Lake Taihu and Lake Chaohu), the abundance of AOA and AOB varied in opposite patterns according to the trophic state, although both AOA and AOB were abundant. In detail, from mesotrophic to eutrophic sites, the AOA abundance decreased, while the AOB increased in abundance and outnumbered the AOA at hypertrophic sites. In parallel, the nitrification rate increased along these trophic gradients and was significantly correlated with both the AOB abundance and the numerical ratio of AOB to AOA. Phylogenetic analysis of bacterial amoA sequences showed that Nitrosomonas oligotropha- and Nitrosospira-affiliated AOB dominated in both lakes, while Nitrosomonas communis-related AOB were only detected at the eutrophic sites. The diversity of AOB increased from mesotrophic to eutrophic sites and was positively correlated with the nitrification rate. Overall, this study enhances our understanding of the ecology of ammonia-oxidizing prokaryotes by elucidating conditions that AOB may numerically predominated over AOA, and indicated that AOA may play a less important role than AOB in the nitrification process of eutrophic lakes. 
Eutrophic lakes; Nitrogen removal; Trophic state; Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria; Ammonia-oxidizing archaea; qPCR