Two 16S rRNA gene-based PCR primer sets (Brod541F/Amx820R and A438f/A684r) for detecting anammox bacteria were compared using sediments from Mai Po wetlands (MP), the South China Sea (SCS), a freshwater reservoir (R2), and sludge granules from a wastewater treatment plant (A2). By comparing their ability in profiling anammox bacteria, the recovered diversity, community structure, and abundance of anammox bacteria among all these diverse samples indicated that A438fA684r performed better than Brod541F/Amx820R in retrieving anammox bacteria from these different environmental samples. Five Scalindua subclusters (zhenghei-I, SCS-I, SCS-III, arabica, and brodae) dominated in SCS whereas two Scalindua subclusters (zhenghei-II and wagneri) and one cluster of Kuenenia dominated in MP. R2 showed a higher diversity of anammox bacteria with two new retrieved clusters (R2-New-1 and R2-New-2), which deserves further detailed study. The dominance of Brocadia in sample A2 was supported by both of the primer sets used. Results collectively indicate strongly niche-specific community structures of anammox bacteria in different environments, and A438f/A684r is highly recommended for screening anammox bacteria from various environments when dealing with a collection of samples with diverse physiochemical characteristics.
- PCR primer