Responses of Active Ammonia Oxidizers to Eutrophication and Oxygen Statuses in Taihu Freshwater Sediments

<p>Here, we employed DNA-based stable isotope probing (SIP) and molecular biology methods to investigate active ammonia oxidizer communities in suboxic sediments (0 to –2 cm) at the micromolar oxygen level and layers (–2 to –5 cm) at nanomolar oxygen concentrations from meso-eutrophic and light-eutrophic locations in Taihu Lake. The results revealed that ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) were less active in the anoxic layer of meso-eutrophic sites, while ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) were less active in suboxic sediments of light-eutrophic sites after 8 weeks of incubation. The active AOA in the meso- and light-eutrophic sediments belonged to the <i>Nitrosopumilus</i>, <i>Nitrosotalea,</i> and <i>Nitrososphaera</i> clusters and the <i>Nitrosopumilus</i> and <i>Nitrososphaera</i> clusters, respectively, with <i>Nitrosopumilus</i> cluster as the predominant AOA, which took up a higher ratio in the light-eutrophic and suboxic layers than their counterparts. The advantageous active AOB were numerically predominated by the <i>Nitrosomonas</i> cluster in the suboxic layers, and the <i>Nitrosospira</i> cluster in the anoxic layers, respectively, both of which were distributed in diverse frequencies in different eutrophication statuses. The role and community composition diversities of active ammonia oxidizers in freshwater sediments were attributed to the different eutrophication (including nitrogen and organic carbon content) and oxygen statuses.</p>