, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 107-114
Date: 04 Sep 2003

Anaerobic ammonium oxidation by marine and freshwater planctomycete-like bacteria

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Abstract

Recently, two fresh water species, "Candidatus Brocadia anammoxidans" and "Candidatus Kuenenia stuttgartiensis", and one marine species, "Candidatus Scalindua sorokinii", of planctomycete anammox bacteria have been identified. "Candidatus Scalindua sorokinii" was discovered in the Black Sea, and contributed substantially to the loss of fixed nitrogen. All three species contain a unique organelle—the anammoxosome—in their cytoplasm. The anammoxosome contains the hydrazine/hydroxylamine oxidoreductase enzyme, and is thus the site of anammox catabolism. The anammoxosome is surrounded by a very dense membrane composed almost exclusively of linearly concatenated cyclobutane-containing lipids. These so-called 'ladderanes' are connected to the glycerol moiety via both ester and ether bonds. In natural and man-made ecosystems, anammox bacteria can cooperate with aerobic ammonium-oxidising bacteria, which protect them from harmful oxygen, and provide the necessary nitrite. The cooperation of these two groups of ammonium-oxidising bacteria is the microbial basis for a sustainable one reactor system, CANON (completely autotrophic nitrogen-removal over nitrite) to remove ammonia from high strength wastewater.