Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 108, Issue 6, pp 1457–1468 | Cite as

Taxonomic characterisation of Proteus terrae sp. nov., a N2O-producing, nitrate-ammonifying soil bacterium

  • Undine BehrendtEmail author
  • Jürgen Augustin
  • Cathrin Spröer
  • Jörg Gelbrecht
  • Peter Schumann
  • Andreas Ulrich
Original Paper


In the context of studying the influence of N-fertilization on N2 and N2O flux rates in relation to the soil bacterial community composition in fen peat grassland, a group of bacterial strains was isolated that performed dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium and concomitantly produced N2O. The amount of nitrous oxide produced was influenced by the C/N ratio of the medium. The potential to generate nitrous oxide was increased by higher availability of nitrate-N. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA and the rpoB gene sequences demonstrated that the investigated isolates belong to the genus Proteus, showing high similarity with the respective type strains of Proteus vulgaris and Proteus penneri. DNA–DNA hybridization studies revealed differences at the species level. These differences were substantiated by MALDI-TOF MS analysis and several distinct physiological characteristics. On the basis of these results, it was concluded that the soil isolates represent a novel species for which the name Proteus terrae sp. nov. (type strain N5/687T =DSM 29910T =LMG 28659T) is proposed.


Proteus terrae sp. nov. Phylogenetic characterization Phenotypic characterisation Dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium Nitrous oxide production C/N ratio Fen peat soil 



We wish to thank Mrs. B. Selch, Mrs. S. Weinert, Mr. B. Gusovius (ZALF-Müncheberg), Mrs. A. Wasner, Mrs. B. Sträubler and Mrs. G. Pötter (DSMZ-Braunschweig), and Mr. Th. Rossoll (IGB-Berlin) for their excellent technical assistance.

Supplementary material

10482_2015_601_MOESM1_ESM.eps (891 kb)
Fig. S1 Neighbour joining tree of the 16S rRNA gene showing the relationships between strain N5/687T and type strains of the species of the genus Proteus and related genera. Filled circles indicate branches of the tree that were also obtained using the maximum likelihood method. The sequence of Yersinia kristensenii ATCC 33638T (GenBank accession no. AF366381) was used as an outgroup (not shown). Numbers at the nodes indicate bootstrap support of more than 70 % (based on 1000 resampled datasets). Bar 0.01 changes per nucleotide position. Supplementary material 1 (EPS 890 kb)
10482_2015_601_MOESM2_ESM.eps (770 kb)
Fig. S2 Neighbour joining tree of the rpoB gene showing the relationships between strain N5/687T and type strains of the species of the genus Proteus and related genera. Filled circles indicate branches of the tree that were also obtained using the maximum likelihood method. The sequence of Yersinia kristensenii CCUG 11294T (GenBank accession no. EF1755969) was used as an outgroup (not shown). Numbers at the nodes indicate bootstrap support of more than 70 % (based on 1000 resampled datasets). Bar 0.01 changes per nucleotide position. Supplementary material 2 (EPS 769 kb)
10482_2015_601_MOESM3_ESM.eps (823 kb)
Fig. S3 Consensus tree showing the molecular evolutionary relationships of the 16S rRNA and rpoB genes. The sequences of Yersinia kristensenii ATCC 33638T (GenBank accession no. AF366381 and EF1755969) was used as an outgroup (not shown). Bar, 0.01 changes per nucleotide position. Supplementary material 3 (EPS 822 kb)
10482_2015_601_MOESM4_ESM.docx (36 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (DOCX 35 kb)
10482_2015_601_MOESM5_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 5 (DOCX 16 kb)
10482_2015_601_MOESM6_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 6 (DOCX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)Institute for Landscape BiogeochemistryMünchebergGermany
  2. 2.Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland FisheriesCentral Chemical LaboratoryBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Leibniz-Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell CulturesBraunschweigGermany

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