Bacterial anaerobic ammonia oxidation (Anammox) in the marine nitrogen cycle--a review

Yiguo Hong*, Meng Li, Jidong Gu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox) is a microbial oxidation process of ammonium, with nitrite as the electron acceptor and dinitrogen gas as the main product, and is performed by a clade of deeply branched Planctomycetes, which possess an intracytoplasmic membrane-bounded organelle, the anammoxosome, for the Anammox process. The wide distribution of Anammox bacteria in different natural environments has been greatly modified the traditional view of biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen, in which microbial denitrifier is considered as the only organism to respire nitrate and nitrite to produce nitric and nitrous oxides, and eventually nitrogen gas. More evidences indicate that Anammox is responsible for the production of more than 50% of oceanic N2 and plays an important role in global nitrogen cycling. Moreover, due to the close relationship between nitrogen and carbon cycling, it is anticipated that Anammox process might also affect the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, and influence the global climate change. In addition, the simultaneous transformation of nitrite and ammonium in wastewater treatment by Anammox would allow a 90% reduction in operational costs and provide a much more effective biotechnological process for wastewater treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-286
Number of pages6
JournalWei sheng wu xue bao = Acta microbiologica Sinica
Issue number3
StatePublished - 4 Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


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