Community composition of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea in rice field soil as affected by nitrogen fertilization

Yanan Wang, Xiubin Ke, Liqin Wu, Yahai Lu
Systematic and Applied Microbiology 2009, 32 (1): 27-36
Little information is available on the ecology of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) in flooded rice soils. Consequently, a microcosm experiment was conducted to determine the effect of nitrogen fertilizer on the composition of AOB and AOA communities in rice soil by using molecular analyses of ammonia monooxygenase gene (amoA) fragments. Experimental treatments included three levels of N (urea) fertilizer, i.e. 50, 100 and 150 mgNkg(-1) soil. Soil samples were operationally divided into four fractions: surface soil, bulk soil deep layer, rhizosphere and washed root material. NH(4)(+)-N was the dominant form of N in soil porewater and increased with N fertilization. Cloning and sequencing of amoA gene fragments showed that the AOB community in the rice soil consisted of three major groups, i.e. Nitrosomonas communis cluster, Nitrosospira cluster 3a and cluster 3b. The sequences related to Nitrosomonas were predominant. There was a clear effect of N fertilizer and soil depth on AOB community composition based on terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprinting. Nitrosomonas appeared to be more abundant in the potentially oxic or micro-oxic fractions, including surface soil, rhizosphere and washed root material, than the deep layer of anoxic bulk soil. Furthermore, Nitrosomonas increased relatively in the partially oxic fractions and that of Nitrosospira decreased with the increasing application of N fertilizer. However, AOA community composition remained unchanged according to the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analyses.

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