Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 53, Issue 8, pp 885–898 | Cite as

Nitrous oxide (N2O)-reducing denitrifier-inoculated organic fertilizer mitigates N2O emissions from agricultural soils

  • Nan Gao
  • Weishou Shen
  • Estefania Camargo
  • Yutaka Shiratori
  • Tomoyasu Nishizawa
  • Kazuo Isobe
  • Xinhua He
  • Keishi Senoo
Original Paper


The only known sink for nitrous oxide (N2O) is biochemical reduction to dinitrogen (N2) by N2O reductase (N2OR). We hypothesized that the application of N2O-reducing denitrifier-inoculated organic fertilizer could enhance soil N2O consumption while the disruption of nosZ genes could result in inactivation of N2O consumption. To test such hypotheses, a denitrifier-inoculated granular organic fertilizer was applied to both soil microcosms and fields. Of 41 denitrifier strains, 38 generated 30N2 in the end products of denitrification (30N2 and 46N2O) after the addition of Na15NO3 in culture condition, indicating their high N2O reductase activities. Of these 41 strains, 18 were screened in soil microcosms after their inoculation into the organic fertilizer, most of which were affiliated with Azospirillum and Herbaspirillum. These 18 strains were nutritionally starved to improve their survival in soil, and 14 starved and/or non-starved strains significantly decreased N2O emissions in soil microcosms. However, the N2O emission had not been decreased in soil microcosms after inoculating with a nosZ gene-disruptive strain, suggesting that N2O reductase activity might be essential for N2O consumption. Although the decrease of N2O was not significant at field scales, the application of organic fertilizer inoculated with Azospirillum sp. TSH100 and Herbaspirillum sp. UKPF54 had decreased the N2O emissions by 36.7% in Fluvisol and 23.4% in Andosol in 2014, but by 21.6% in Andosol in 2015 (H. sp. UKPF54 only). These results suggest that the application of N2O-reducing denitrifier-inoculated organic fertilizer may enhance N2O consumption or decrease N2O emissions in agricultural soils.


Climate change Greenhouse gas Microbiological manipulation Mitigation technology Nitrous oxide consumption and sink Nitrous oxide reductase 



We thank Shigeto Otsuka for his helpful discussion and Chie Hayakawa for her help with gas sampling in the fields. We also thank the technical staffs from the Niigata Agricultural Research Institute and the Institute for Sustainable Agro-ecosystem Services, The University of Tokyo for their assistance with field work. This study was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science through a Postdoctoral Fellowship (14F04390), the Program for Promotion of Basic and Applied Researches for Innovations in Bio-oriented Industry, and the Science and Technology Research Promotion Program for Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Food Industry (26037B and 27004C), Japan.

Supplementary material

374_2017_1231_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
Table S1 (DOCX 17 kb).
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Table S2 (DOCX 20 kb).
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Figure S1 (DOCX 3338 kb).
374_2017_1231_MOESM4_ESM.docx (213 kb)
Figure S2 (DOCX 212 kb).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nan Gao
    • 1
  • Weishou Shen
    • 2
    • 3
  • Estefania Camargo
    • 4
  • Yutaka Shiratori
    • 5
  • Tomoyasu Nishizawa
    • 6
  • Kazuo Isobe
    • 3
  • Xinhua He
    • 7
  • Keishi Senoo
    • 3
  1. 1.National Engineering Research Center for Biotechnology and School of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical EngineeringNanjing Tech UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  3. 3.Department of Applied Biological Chemistry, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Soil ScienceFederal University of Rio Grande do SulRio Grande do SulBrazil
  5. 5.Niigata Agricultural Research InstituteNiigataJapan
  6. 6.Department of Food and Life Sciences, College of AgricultureIbaraki UniversityIbarakiJapan
  7. 7.Centre of Excellence for Soil Biology, College of Resources and EnvironmentSouthwest UniversityChongqingChina

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