, Volume 97, Issue 4, pp 1785-1798,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 19 Apr 2012

Dominance of Candidatus Scalindua species in anammox community revealed in soils with different duration of rice paddy cultivation in Northeast China


The anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacteria play an important role in the oxygen-limited zone for nitrogen cycling, but their roles in agricultural ecosystems are still poorly understood. In this study, soil samples were taken from the rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere and from surface (0–5 cm) and subsurface (20–25 cm) layers with 1, 4, and 9 years of rice cultivation history on the typical albic soil of Northeast China to examine the diversity and distribution of anammox bacteria based on 16S rRNA gene and hydrazine oxidoreductase encoding gene (hzo). By comparing these soil samples, no obvious difference was observed in community composition between the rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere or the surface and subsurface layers. Surprisingly, anammox bacterial communities of these rice paddy soils were consisted of mainly Candidatus Scalindua species, which are best known to be dominant in marine and pristine environments. The highest diversity was revealed in the 4-year paddy soil based on clone library analysis. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene and deduced HZO from the corresponding encoding gene showed that most of the obtained clones are grouped together with Candidatus Scalindua sorokinii, Candidatus Scalindua brodae, and Candidatus Scalindua spp. of seawater. The obtained clone sequences from all samples are distributed in two subclusters that contain sequences from environmental samples only. Tentative new species were also discovered in this paddy soil. This study provides the first evidence on the existence of anammox bacteria with limited diversity in agricultural ecosystems in Northern China.