Selective inhibition of ammonia oxidising archaea by simvastatin stimulates growth of ammonia oxidising bacteria

Jun Zhao, Marcus O. Bello, Yiyu Meng, James I. Prosser, Cecile Gubry-Rangin* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The desire to understand and distinguish the relative growth and activity of ammonia oxidising archaea (AOA) and ammonia oxidising bacteria (AOB) in soil nitrification has increased the search for selective inhibitors of these two groups. This study aimed to investigate the potency and specificity of simvastatin as a specific AOA inhibitor in pure cultures and in soil and to determine the effect of AOA inhibition on both ammonia oxidation activity and growth of AOB, under the hypothesis that AOB growth is higher when competition for NH4+ from AOA is removed. Simvastatin selectively inhibited pure cultures of all tested AOA at concentrations of 8 – 100 µM. In soil microcosms incubated for 21 days with low and high NH4+ concentrations, AOA but not AOB were selectively inhibited by simvastatin in both acidic (pH 4.5) and near-neutral (pH 6.5) soils. Additionally, growth of AOB significantly increased at both NH4+ concentrations following inhibition of AOA by simvastatin, suggesting that competition for substrate between AOA and AOB is a key factor restraining AOB growth in NH4+ -limitedsoils. Simvastatin can therefore be used as a selective AOA inhibitor to investigate kinetic characteristics of AOB in soils and to study competition between AOA and AOB in complex environments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107673
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume141
Early online date18 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Fingerprint

Simvastatin
Archaea
Ammonia
ammonia
Bacteria
bacterium
bacteria
Growth
Soil
inhibitor
soil bacteria
soil
Nitrification

Keywords

  • activity
  • nitrification
  • inhibitor
  • ammonia
  • Thaumarchaeota
  • stable isotope probing

Cite this

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title = "Selective inhibition of ammonia oxidising archaea by simvastatin stimulates growth of ammonia oxidising bacteria",
abstract = "The desire to understand and distinguish the relative growth and activity of ammonia oxidising archaea (AOA) and ammonia oxidising bacteria (AOB) in soil nitrification has increased the search for selective inhibitors of these two groups. This study aimed to investigate the potency and specificity of simvastatin as a specific AOA inhibitor in pure cultures and in soil and to determine the effect of AOA inhibition on both ammonia oxidation activity and growth of AOB, under the hypothesis that AOB growth is higher when competition for NH4+ from AOA is removed. Simvastatin selectively inhibited pure cultures of all tested AOA at concentrations of 8 – 100 µM. In soil microcosms incubated for 21 days with low and high NH4+ concentrations, AOA but not AOB were selectively inhibited by simvastatin in both acidic (pH 4.5) and near-neutral (pH 6.5) soils. Additionally, growth of AOB significantly increased at both NH4+ concentrations following inhibition of AOA by simvastatin, suggesting that competition for substrate between AOA and AOB is a key factor restraining AOB growth in NH4+ -limitedsoils. Simvastatin can therefore be used as a selective AOA inhibitor to investigate kinetic characteristics of AOB in soils and to study competition between AOA and AOB in complex environments.",
keywords = "activity, nitrification, inhibitor, ammonia, Thaumarchaeota, stable isotope probing",
author = "Jun Zhao and Bello, {Marcus O.} and Yiyu Meng and Prosser, {James I.} and Cecile Gubry-Rangin",
note = "Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank Dr Robin Walker for access to the experimental plots at the SRUC, Craibstone Estate, Aberdeen. JZ was funded by a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) grant (NE/K016342/1), MOB by a University of Aberdeen Elphinstone Scholarship and by TETFund through Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba (AAUA) Nigeria, YM by a NERC grant (NE/R001529/1) and CGR by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (URF150571).",
year = "2020",
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doi = "10.1016/j.soilbio.2019.107673",
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journal = "Soil Biology and Biochemistry",
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T1 - Selective inhibition of ammonia oxidising archaea by simvastatin stimulates growth of ammonia oxidising bacteria

AU - Zhao, Jun

AU - Bello, Marcus O.

AU - Meng, Yiyu

AU - Prosser, James I.

AU - Gubry-Rangin, Cecile

N1 - Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank Dr Robin Walker for access to the experimental plots at the SRUC, Craibstone Estate, Aberdeen. JZ was funded by a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) grant (NE/K016342/1), MOB by a University of Aberdeen Elphinstone Scholarship and by TETFund through Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba (AAUA) Nigeria, YM by a NERC grant (NE/R001529/1) and CGR by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (URF150571).

PY - 2020/2

Y1 - 2020/2

N2 - The desire to understand and distinguish the relative growth and activity of ammonia oxidising archaea (AOA) and ammonia oxidising bacteria (AOB) in soil nitrification has increased the search for selective inhibitors of these two groups. This study aimed to investigate the potency and specificity of simvastatin as a specific AOA inhibitor in pure cultures and in soil and to determine the effect of AOA inhibition on both ammonia oxidation activity and growth of AOB, under the hypothesis that AOB growth is higher when competition for NH4+ from AOA is removed. Simvastatin selectively inhibited pure cultures of all tested AOA at concentrations of 8 – 100 µM. In soil microcosms incubated for 21 days with low and high NH4+ concentrations, AOA but not AOB were selectively inhibited by simvastatin in both acidic (pH 4.5) and near-neutral (pH 6.5) soils. Additionally, growth of AOB significantly increased at both NH4+ concentrations following inhibition of AOA by simvastatin, suggesting that competition for substrate between AOA and AOB is a key factor restraining AOB growth in NH4+ -limitedsoils. Simvastatin can therefore be used as a selective AOA inhibitor to investigate kinetic characteristics of AOB in soils and to study competition between AOA and AOB in complex environments.

AB - The desire to understand and distinguish the relative growth and activity of ammonia oxidising archaea (AOA) and ammonia oxidising bacteria (AOB) in soil nitrification has increased the search for selective inhibitors of these two groups. This study aimed to investigate the potency and specificity of simvastatin as a specific AOA inhibitor in pure cultures and in soil and to determine the effect of AOA inhibition on both ammonia oxidation activity and growth of AOB, under the hypothesis that AOB growth is higher when competition for NH4+ from AOA is removed. Simvastatin selectively inhibited pure cultures of all tested AOA at concentrations of 8 – 100 µM. In soil microcosms incubated for 21 days with low and high NH4+ concentrations, AOA but not AOB were selectively inhibited by simvastatin in both acidic (pH 4.5) and near-neutral (pH 6.5) soils. Additionally, growth of AOB significantly increased at both NH4+ concentrations following inhibition of AOA by simvastatin, suggesting that competition for substrate between AOA and AOB is a key factor restraining AOB growth in NH4+ -limitedsoils. Simvastatin can therefore be used as a selective AOA inhibitor to investigate kinetic characteristics of AOB in soils and to study competition between AOA and AOB in complex environments.

KW - activity

KW - nitrification

KW - inhibitor

KW - ammonia

KW - Thaumarchaeota

KW - stable isotope probing

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DO - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2019.107673

M3 - Article

VL - 141

JO - Soil Biology and Biochemistry

JF - Soil Biology and Biochemistry

SN - 0038-0717

M1 - 107673

ER -