Co-occurrence of nitrite-dependent anaerobic ammonium and methane oxidation processes in subtropical acidic forest soils

Han Meng, Yong Feng Wang, Ho Wang Chan, Ruo Nan Wu, Ji Dong Gu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) and nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation (n-damo) are two new processes of recent discoveries linking the microbial nitrogen and carbon cycles. In this study, 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene of anammox bacteria and pmoA gene of n-damo bacteria were used to investigate their distribution and diversity in natural acidic and re-vegetated forest soils. The 16S rRNA gene sequences retrieved featured at least three species in two genera known anammox bacteria, namely Candidatus Brocadia anammoxidans, Candidatus Brocadia fulgida, and Candidatus Kuenenia stuttgartiensis while the pmoA gene amplified was affiliated with two species of known n-damo bacteria Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera and a newly established Candidatus Methylomirabilis sp. According to the results, the diversity of anammox bacteria in natural forests was lower than in re-vegetated forests, but no significant difference was observed in n-damo community between them. Quantitative real-time PCR showed that both anammox and n-damo bacteria were more abundant in the lower layer (10–20 cm) than the surface layer (0–5 cm). The abundance of anammox bacteria varied from 2.21 × 105 to 3.90 × 106 gene copies per gram dry soil, and n-damo bacteria quantities were between 1.69 × 105 and 5.07 × 106 gene copies per gram dry soil in the two different layers. Both anammox and n-damo bacteria are reported for the first time to co-occur in acidic forest soil in this study, providing a more comprehensive information on more defined microbial processes contributing to C and N cycles in the ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7727-7739
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number17
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Anammox bacteria
  • Carbon cycle
  • Forest soil
  • N-damo bacteria
  • Nitrogen cycle
  • pmoA gene


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