Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 100, Issue 15, pp 6815–6826 | Cite as

Effects of different fertilizers on the abundance and community structure of ammonia oxidizers in a yellow clay soil

  • Huaiying Yao
  • Sha Huang
  • Qiongfen Qiu
  • Yaying Li
  • Lianghuan Wu
  • Wenhai Mi
  • Feng Dai
Environmental biotechnology


Yellow clay paddy soil (Oxisols) is a typical soil with low productivity in southern China. Nitrification inhibitors and slow release fertilizers have been used to improve nitrogen fertilizer utilization and reduce environmental impaction of the paddy soil. However, their effects on ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in paddy soil have rarely been investigated. In the present work, we compared the influences of several slow release fertilizers and nitrification inhibitors on the community structure and activities of the ammonia oxidizers in yellow clay soil. The abundances and community compositions of AOA and AOB were determined with qPCR, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), and clone library approaches. Our results indicated that the potential nitrification rate (PNR) of the soil was significantly related to the abundances of both AOA and AOB. Nitrogen fertilizer application stimulated the growth of AOA and AOB, and the combinations of nitrapyrin with urea (NPU) and urea-formaldehyde (UF) inhibited the growth of AOA and AOB, respectively. Compared with other treatments, the applications of NPU and UF also led to significant shifts in the community compositions of AOA and AOB, respectively. NPU showed an inhibitory effect on AOA T-RF 166 bp that belonged to Nitrosotalea. UF had a negative effect on AOB T-RF 62 bp that was assigned to Nitrosospira. These results suggested that NPU inhibited PNR and increased nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) by inhibiting the growth of AOA and altering AOA community. UF showed no effect on NUE but decreased AOB abundance and shifted AOB community.


Nitrification inhibitor Slow release fertilizer Ammonia-oxidizing archaea Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria 


Compliance with ethical standards


This work was supported by the Ningbo Natural Science Foundations (2014A610101, 2015C10031), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31272256), the Ningbo Agriculture Science and Education Project (2013NK29), and the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB15020301).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huaiying Yao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sha Huang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Qiongfen Qiu
    • 4
  • Yaying Li
    • 1
  • Lianghuan Wu
    • 5
  • Wenhai Mi
    • 5
  • Feng Dai
    • 6
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXiamenChina
  2. 2.Ningbo Urban Environment Observation and Research Station-NUEORSChinese Academy of SciencesNingboChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.School of Marine ScienceNingbo UniversityNingboChina
  5. 5.Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Environmental Remediation and Ecosystem Health, College of Environmental and Resource SciencesZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  6. 6.Zhejiang Aofutuo Chemical CompanyShaoxingChina

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