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Life 2015, 5(2), 1396-1404; doi:10.3390/life5021396

Freshwater Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea Retain amoA mRNA and 16S rRNA during Ammonia Starvation

Department of Microbiology, Miami University, 32 Pearson Hall, 700 East High Street, Oxford, OH 45056, USA
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Academic Editors: Hans-Peter Klenk, Michael W. W. Adams and Roger A. Garrett
Received: 18 March 2015 / Revised: 12 May 2015 / Accepted: 12 May 2015 / Published: 19 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaea: Evolution, Physiology, and Molecular Biology)
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Abstract

In their natural habitats, microorganisms are often exposed to periods of starvation if their substrates for energy generation or other nutrients are limiting. Many microorganisms have developed strategies to adapt to fluctuating nutrients and long-term starvation. In the environment, ammonia oxidizers have to compete with many different organisms for ammonium and are often exposed to long periods of ammonium starvation. We investigated the effect of ammonium starvation on ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) enriched from freshwater lake sediments. Both AOA and AOB were able to recover even after almost two months of starvation; however, the recovery time differed. AOA and AOB retained their 16S rRNA (ribosomes) throughout the complete starvation period. The AOA retained also a small portion of the mRNA of the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) for the complete starvation period. However, after 10 days, no amoA mRNA was detected anymore in the AOB. These results indicate that AOA and AOB are able to survive longer periods of starvation, but might utilize different strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrification; ammonia oxidation; ammonia-oxidizing archaea; ammonia-oxidizing bacteria; starvation; ammonia monooxygenase nitrification; ammonia oxidation; ammonia-oxidizing archaea; ammonia-oxidizing bacteria; starvation; ammonia monooxygenase
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

French, E.; Bollmann, A. Freshwater Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea Retain amoA mRNA and 16S rRNA during Ammonia Starvation. Life 2015, 5, 1396-1404.

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