Detection of ammonia-oxidizing Bacteria and Archaea within coral reef cyanobacterial mats
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Coral-reef filamentous cyanobacterial mats are complex communities of microbes. We used DGGE and eubacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA and amoA ammonium monooxygenase subunit A primer sets to explore the presence of genes mediating nitrogen conversion within cyanobacterial mats from Hawaii. DGGE band analysis revealed the presence of halophiles such as Halococcus salifodinae and of Nitrosopumilus-like organisms. Twenty seven out of 31 clone sequences exhibited a 95 % or greater 16S rRNA gene identity with known archaeal ammonia oxidizers such as Nitrosopumilus maritimus. The presence of Archaea within those mats, as well as the co-occurrence of both ammonia-oxidizing Archaea and ammonia-oxidizing Bacteria suggests importance of the former in the cyanobacterial mat community, and suggests greater than anticipated diversity of nitrogen conversion processes and organisms in those systems.