Difference of nitrogen-cycling microbes between shallow bay and deep-sea sediments in the South China Sea
In marine sediments, microorganisms are known to play important roles in nitrogen cycling; however, the composition and quantity of microbes taking part in each process of nitrogen cycling are currently unclear. In this study, two different types of marine sediment samples (shallow bay and deep-sea sediments) in the South China Sea (SCS) were selected to investigate the microbial community involved in nitrogen cycling. The abundance and composition of prokaryotes and seven key functional genes involved in five processes of the nitrogen cycle [nitrogen fixation, nitrification, denitrification, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA), and anaerobic ammonia oxidation (anammox)] were presented. The results showed that a higher abundance of denitrifiers was detected in shallow bay sediments, while a higher abundance of microbes involved in ammonia oxidation, anammox, and DNRA was found in the deep-sea sediments. Moreover, phylogenetic differentiation of bacterial amoA, nirS, nosZ, and nrfA sequences between the two types of sediments was also presented, suggesting environmental selection of microbes with the same geochemical functions but varying physiological properties.
KeywordsNitrogen cycling Microbes Marine sediments South China Sea Functional genes Abundance Phylogenetic differentiation
We are grateful to all the staff at the Haiyang Sihao for providing help of collecting samples.
This study was funded by State Key R&D project of China (grant No. 2016YFA0601102), international IMBER project, National Special Project on Gas Hydrate of China (Grant, GZH201100311), Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 41525011, 91228201, 91428308, 41506163, 31622002, 31661143022), China Ocean Mineral Resources R&D Association (grant DY125-15-T-04).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and animal rights and informed consent
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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