Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 98, Issue 9, pp 4233–4243 | Cite as

Nitrite reductase genes as functional markers to investigate diversity of denitrifying bacteria during agricultural waste composting

  • Yaoning Chen
  • Wei Zhou
  • Yuanping Li
  • Jiachao Zhang
  • Guangming Zeng
  • Aizhi Huang
  • Jingxia Huang
Environmental biotechnology


The purpose of this study was to investigate the diversity of denitrifier community during agricultural waste composting. The diversity and dynamics of the denitrifying genes (nirK and nirS) were determined using polymerase chain reaction–denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). Relationships between physico-chemical parameters and denitrifying genes structures were simultaneously evaluated by redundancy analysis (RDA). Phylogenetic analysis indicated that nirK clones grouped into six clusters and nirS clones into two major clusters, respectively. The results showed a very high diversity of nir gene sequences within composting samples. RDA showed that the nirK and nirS gene structures were significantly related to pH and pile temperature (P < 0.05). Significant amounts of the variation (49.2 and 38.3 % for nirK and nirS genes, respectively) were explained by pH and pile temperature, suggesting that those two parameters were the most likely ones to influence, or be influenced by the denitrifiers harboring nirK and nirS genes.


Composting PCR-DGGE Denitrifying bacteria RDA Phylogenetic analysis 



This study was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (50808072, 50978088, and 50908078), the Hunan Key Scientific Research Project (2009FJ1010), and the Hunan Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (13JJB002).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yaoning Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wei Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yuanping Li
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jiachao Zhang
    • 4
  • Guangming Zeng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Aizhi Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jingxia Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringHunan UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control (Hunan University), Ministry of EducationChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Chemistry and Environment EngineeringHunan City UniversityYiyangPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.College of Resources and EnvironmentHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China

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