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Interactions of Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrobacter winogradskyi grown in co-culture

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Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrobacter winogradskyi were grown singly and in co-culture in chemostats to probe for physiological differences between the two growth conditions. Co-culture growth medium containing 60 mM NH4 + resulted in a cell density (0.20–0.29 OD600) greater than the sum of the densities in single chemostat cultures, i.e., 0.09–0.14 OD600 for N. europaea with 60 mM NH4 +and 0.04–0.06 OD600 for N. winogradskyi with 60 mM NO2 . The NO2 - and NH4 +-dependent O2 uptake rates, qRT–PCR, and microscopic observations indicated that in co-culture, N. europaea contributed ~0.20 OD600 (~80 %) and N. winogradskyi ~0.05 OD600 (~20 %). In co-culture, the transcriptomes showed that the mRNA levels of 773 genes in N. europaea (30.2 % of the genes) and of 372 genes in N. winogradskyi (11.8 % of the genes) changed significantly. Total cell growth and the analysis of the transcriptome revealed that in co-culture, N. europaea benefits more than N. winogradskyi.

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Work funded by DOE award ER65192 (DJA, LSS, and PJB) and NSF EAGER award No. 1239870 (FWRC). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or the Department of Energy.

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Correspondence to Luis A. Sayavedra-Soto.

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Communicated by Friedrich Widdel.

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Pérez, J., Buchanan, A., Mellbye, B. et al. Interactions of Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrobacter winogradskyi grown in co-culture. Arch Microbiol 197, 79–89 (2015).

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