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Anaerobic ammonium oxidation coupled to iron reduction (Feammox) is a recently discovered pathway contributing to nitrogen loss in various ecosystems such as paddy soils and sediments. However, little is known about the microbes driving Feammox in agricultural ecosystem. Here, we demonstrated the occurrence of Feammox in paddy soils of Southern China by using a 15N isotopic tracing technique, and examined the microbial communities associated with Feammox using RNA based stable isotope probing (RNA-SIP) combined with Illumina sequencing. Feammox was detected in all collected soils with direct N2 production as the dominant Feammox pathway. It was estimated that approximately 6.91% of the applied nitrogen fertilizers were lost through Feammox in the paddy soils. RNA-SIP results showed that the composition of enriched active microbial communities were dependent on soil properties, especially the soil pH and grain size. Geobacter were enriched in most soils across various properties. The abundance of enriched GOUTA19 were significantly higher in soils with low pH than those in soils with medium pH and high pH, and the relative abundance of active Nitrososphaeraceae and Pseudomonas only increased in soils with medium and high pH during 4-day of incubation. These results suggested Feammox is a ubiquitous and important process for N loss. Geobacter, GOUTA19, Nitrososphaeraceae and Pseudomonas were active during the incubation that favored Feammox and the growth of Feammox microbes, suggesting these microbes were potentially associated with Feammox in natural agricultural soils.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Environmental science & technology
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Anaerobic ammonium oxidation coupled to iron reduction, termed Feammox, is a new microbial process linked the nitrogen cycles. However, the nitrogen losses through Feammox from different ecosystem hab...
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