Cultivation-based and molecular approaches to characterisation of terrestrial and aquatic nitrifiers

James Ivor Prosser, T. M. Embley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Increased awareness of the metabolic diversity within autotrophic nitrifying bacteria has led to a re-evaluation of their role in the cycling of nitrogen in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This has been accompanied by improvements in our ability to characterise natural populations of autotrophic ammonia oxidising bacteria through the application of molecular techniques. Molecular approaches indicate considerable diversity within natural populations and the association of different groups of ammonia oxidisers with different environments and changes in populations in response to environmental factors. To some extent, results from molecular approaches are consistent with those adopting laboratory enrichment and isolation strategies. Physiological studies on the latter demonstrate links between phylogenetic groups and possession of characteristics of relevance to ecological studies. Understanding of the significance of ammonia oxidiser species and functional diversity for global cycling of nitrogen require greater links between molecular analyses, physiological studies and measurements of nitrogen cycling processes. However, there is increasing evidence for physiological properties driving the environmental distribution of particular groups of ammonia oxidisers and for associations between nitrification process rates and ammonia oxidiser community structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-179
Number of pages14
JournalAntonie van Leeuwenhoek
Volume81
Issue number1-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • 16S rRNA
  • ammonia oxidation
  • aquatic
  • nitrification
  • soil
  • species diversity
  • AMMONIA-OXIDIZING BACTERIA
  • 16S RIBOSOMAL-RNA
  • GRADIENT GEL-ELECTROPHORESIS
  • IN-SITU HYBRIDIZATION
  • FRESH-WATER LAKE
  • CLASS PROTEOBACTERIA
  • BETA-SUBDIVISION
  • GENE-SEQUENCES
  • NITRIFYING BACTERIA
  • COMMUNITY STRUCTURE

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