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Diversity of nitrite reductase (nirK and nirS) gene fragments in forested upland and wetland soils

Diversity of nitrite reductase (nirK and nirS) gene fragments in forested upland and wetland soils

Applied and Environmental Microbiology 68(4): 1893-1900

ISSN/ISBN: 0099-2240

PMID: 11916709

DOI: 10.1128/aem.68.4.1893-1900.2002

The genetic heterogeneity of nitrite reductase gene (nirK and nirS) fragments from denitrifying prokaryotes in forested upland and marsh soil was investigated using molecular methods. nirK gene fragments could be amplified from both soils, whereas nirS gene fragments could be amplified only from the marsh soil. PCR products were cloned and screened by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), and representative fragments were sequenced. The diversity of nirK clones was lower than the diversity of nirS clones. Among the 54 distinct nirK RFLP patterns identified in the two soils, only one pattern was found in both soils and in each soil two dominant groups comprised >35% of all clones. No dominance and few redundant patterns were seen among the nirS clones. Phylogenetic analysis of deduced amino acids grouped the nirK sequences into five major clusters, with one cluster encompassing most marsh clones and all upland clones. Only a few of the nirK clone sequences branched with those of known denitrifying bacteria. The nirS clones formed two major clusters with several subclusters, but all nirS clones showed less than 80% identity to nirS sequences from known denitrifying bacteria. Overall, the data indicated that the denitrifying communities in the two soils have many members and that the soils have a high richness of different nir genes, especially of the nirS gene, most of which have not yet been found in cultivated denitrifiers.

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Accession: 003717487

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