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Submerged macrophytes shape the abundance and diversity of bacterial denitrifiers in bacterioplankton and epiphyton in the Shallow Fresh Lake Taihu, China

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Abstract

nirK and nirS genes are important functional genes involved in the denitrification pathway. Recent studies about these two denitrifying genes are focusing on sediment and wastewater microbe. In this study, we conducted a comparative analysis of the abundance and diversity of denitrifiers in the epiphyton of submerged macrophytes Potamogeton malaianus and Ceratophyllum demersum as well as in bacterioplankton in the shallow fresh lake Taihu, China. Results showed that nirK and nirS genes had significant different niches in epiphyton and bacterioplankton. Bacterioplankton showed greater abundance of nirK gene in terms of copy numbers and lower abundance of nirS gene. Significant difference in the abundance of nirK and nirS genes also existed between the epiphyton from different submerged macrophytes. Similar community diversity yet different community abundance was observed between epiphytic bacteria and bacterioplankton. No apparent seasonal variation was found either in epiphytic bacteria or bacterioplankton; however, environmental parameters seemed to have direct relevancy with nirK and nirS genes. Our study suggested that submerged macrophytes have greater influence than seasonal parameters in shaping the presence and abundance of bacterial denitrifiers. Further investigation needs to focus on the potential contact and relative contribution between denitrifiers and environmental factors.

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Abbreviations

DO:

Dissolved oxygen

TN:

Total nitrogen

TP:

Total phosphorus

NO3 –N:

Nitrate nitrogen

NO2 –N:

Nitrite nitrogen

NH4 +–N:

Ammoniacal nitrogen

qPCR:

Quantitative PCR

OTUs:

Operational taxonomic units

PCoA:

Principal coordinates analysis

DCA:

Detrended correspondence analysis

RDA:

Redundancy analysis

SRCC:

Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient

DW:

Dry weight

AOA:

Ammonia-oxidizing archaea

AOB:

Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to Ms. Ya-peng Zhang and Mr. Xun Cao for their valuable help in field investigation and sampling. This work is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41173078 & 41403064), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province, China (BK20140922), and by the Natural Science Foundation of the Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions of China (14KJB610007).

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Correspondence to Guo-xiang Wang.

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Responsible editor: Robert Duran

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Fan, Z., Han, R., Ma, J. et al. Submerged macrophytes shape the abundance and diversity of bacterial denitrifiers in bacterioplankton and epiphyton in the Shallow Fresh Lake Taihu, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 14102–14114 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-6390-1

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Keywords

  • Denitrifier
  • Epiphytic bacteria
  • Bacterioplankton
  • Submerged macrophytes
  • Taihu Lake