Extraordinary anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing bacteria. (English)

in ASM News ; 67 , 9 ; 456-463
ASM News
; 2001
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In the present study, nitrogen balance in wastewater treatment is evaluated by observing 'N-labeled NH4+. It was established that ammonium combines quantitatively with available labeled N-nitrite to give mixed N2. This reaction is sensitive to heat sterilization and gamma irradiation and has pH of 8. The organism is identified as Candidatus Brocadia anammoxidans. It is almost impossible to culture the bacterium responsible for ammonium oxidation but the only way one could enrich Candidatus B.anammoxidans is by the use of flow-through systems. The culture grows autotrophically with CO2 as the only C source with the aid of catabolic and anabolic reactions. A working model is developed to showcase the anaerobic ammonium-oxidation mechanism. Four electrons from hydrazine are needed to reduce nitrate to hydroxylamine, building up proton-motive across the membrane, in turn allowing ATP synthesis. Immunogold-labeled experiments indicated a presence of organelle, named as anammoxosome, responsible for electrochemical gradient across the membrane. Tests with fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) probes specific for aerobic and anaerobic nitrifiers, confirm that Nitrosomonas type organisms increase substantially over Candidatus B.anammoxidans with time. Similar conditions exist in nature at the oxic-anoxic interface between water bodies and segments.

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