In the present work, both 16S rRNA and pmoA gene-based PCR primers were employed successfully to study the diversity and distribution of n-damo bacteria in the surface and lower layer sediments at the coastal Mai Po wetland. The occurrence of n-damo bacteria in both the surface and subsurface sediments with high diversity was confirmed in this study. Unlike the two other known n-damo communities from coastal areas, the pmoA gene-amplified sequences in the present work clustered not only with some freshwater subclusters but also within three newly erected marine subclusters mostly, indicating the unique niche specificity of n-damo bacteria in this wetland. Results suggested vegetation affected the distribution and community structures of n-damo bacteria in the sediments and n-damo could coexist with sulfate-reducing methanotrophs in the coastal ecosystem. Community structures of the Mai Po n-damo bacteria based on 16S rRNA gene were different from those of either the freshwater or the marine. In contrast, structures of the Mai Po n-damo communities based on pmoA gene grouped with the marine ones and were clearly distinguished from the freshwater ones. The abundance of n-damo bacteria at this wetland was quantified using 16S rRNA gene PCR primers to be 2.65–6.71 × 105 copies/g dry sediment. Ammonium and nitrite strongly affected the community structures and distribution of n-damo bacteria in the coastal Mai Po wetland sediments.
- Anaerobic methane oxidation
- Coastal wetland