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Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Vol. 80, No. 18, 2014, Pages: 5593-5602

Latitudinal Distribution of Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria and Archaea in the Agricultural Soils of Eastern China

Hongchen Jiang, Liuqin Huang, Ye Deng, Shang Wang, Yu Zhou, Li Liu and Hailiang Dong

State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Microbiology, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, 430074, China.


The response of soil ammonia-oxidizing bacterial (AOB) and archaeal (AOA) communities to individual environmental variables (e.g., pH, temperature, carbon- and nitrogen-related soil nutrients) has been extensively studied, but how these environmental conditions collectively shape AOB and AOA distributions in unmanaged agricultural soils across a large latitudinal gradient remains poorly known. In this study, the AOB and AOA community structure and diversity in 26 agricultural soils collected from eastern China were investigated by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction and barcoded 454-pyrosequencing of the amoA gene that encodes the alpha subunit of ammonia monooxygenase. The sampling locations span over a 17° latitude gradient and cover a range of climatic conditions. The Nitrosospira and Nitrososphaera were the dominant clusters of AOB and AOA, respectively; but the subcluster-level composition of Nitrosospira-related AOB and Nitrososphaera-related AOA varied across the latitudinal gradient. Variance partitioning analysis showed that geography and climatic conditions (e.g. mean annual temperature and precipitation) as well as carbon-/nitrogen-related soil nutrients contributed more to the AOB and AOA community variations (∼50% in total) than soil pH (∼10% in total). These results are important in furthering our understanding of environmental conditions influencing AOB and AOA community structure across a range of environmental gradients.


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