Higher diversity of ammonia/ammonium-oxidizing prokaryotes in constructed freshwater wetland than natural coastal marine wetland

Yong Feng Wang, Ji Dong Gu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacteria, aerobic ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) are three groups of ammonium/ammonia-oxidizing prokaryotes (AOPs) that are involved in the nitrogen cycle. This research compared the AOP communities in a constructed freshwater wetland with a natural coastal marine wetland in the subtropical Hong Kong. Both vegetated/rhizosphere and nonvegetated sediments were investigated to identify the effects of different macrophytes on the AOP communities. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified gene fragments of 16S rRNA and archaeal and bacterial amoA (encoding the ammonia monooxygenase alpha subunit) were applied as molecular biomarkers to analyze the AOPs' phylogeny and diversity. Quantitative PCR was used to determine the abundances of AOPs in the sediments. The results showed that the relatively more heterogeneous freshwater wetland contained a broader range of phylotypes, higher diversity, more complex community structures, and more unevenly distributed abundances of AOPs than the coastal wetland. The effects of vegetation on the community structures of AOPs were plant-specific. The exotic Typha angustifolia affected the community structures of all AOPs and enhanced their abundances in the rhizosphere region. Both Phragmites australis and Cyperus malaccensis showed some effects on the community structures of AOB, but minimal effects on those of anammox bacteria or AOA. Kandelia obovata had almost no detectable effect on all AOPs due to their smaller size. This study suggested that the freshwater and coastal marine wetlands may have different contributions to the inorganic N removal due to the variations in AOP communities and plant types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7015-7033
Number of pages19
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Ammonia-oxidizing archaea
  • Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria
  • Anammox bacteria
  • Diversity
  • Mangrove
  • Subtropical
  • Wetland
  • amoA


Dive into the research topics of 'Higher diversity of ammonia/ammonium-oxidizing prokaryotes in constructed freshwater wetland than natural coastal marine wetland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this