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Ammonia-oxidizingarchaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) play an important role innitrogen transformation in freshwater sediments. However, it is still unclear towhat extent the distribution patterns of these microorganisms are affected bythe freshwater sediment across a large geographical scale. This study wasdesigned to gain insight into the heterogeneity distribution of AOA and AOB in32 freshwater sediments from a wide range of ecologic types. Real-time quantitative polymerasechain reaction PCR(qPCR) combined with the terminal restrictionfragment length polymorphism(T-RFLP) were employed to characterize the abundance, diversity, and communitystructure of the AOA and AOB in 32 freshwater sediments. AOA and AOB wereubiquitous in all sediments, and archaeal amoA far outnumbered bacterial amoA inmost sediments with lower organic matters. The abundance of AOA and AOB did notvary with the freshwater ecological type (macrophyte dominated region and algaedominated region). Based on the T-RFLP of an amoA gene, this research found that organicmatters in pore water rather than other factors affect the AOA communitystructure in sediments, while the AOB were not significantly different in thefreshwater sediments. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all archaeal amoAsequences fell within either the Crenarchaeotal Group (CG) I.1b or the CGI.1asubgroup, and all AOB clustered with genus Nitrosomonas or Nitrosospira. The data obtained inthis study elucidates the role of ammonia-oxidizing archaea andammonia-oxidizing bacteria in the nitrogen cycle of freshwater ecosystems.
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