Rapid succession of uncultured marine bacterial and archaeal populations in a denitrifying continuous culture

Beate Kraft, Halina E Tegetmeyer, Dimitri Meier, Jeanine S Geelhoed, Marc Strous

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Marine denitrification constitutes an important part of the global nitrogen cycle and the diversity, abundance and process rates of denitrifying microorganisms have been the focus of many studies. Still, there is little insight in the ecophysiology of marine denitrifying communities. In this study, a heterotrophic denitrifying community from sediments of a marine intertidal flat active in nitrogen cycling was selected in a chemostat and monitored over a period of 50 days. The chemostat enabled the maintenance of constant and well-defined experimental conditions over the time-course of the experiment. Analysis of the microbial community composition by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA), Illumina sequencing and catalyzed reporter deposition fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD-FISH) revealed strong dynamics in community composition over time, while overall denitrification by the enrichment culture was stable. Members of the genera Arcobacter, Pseudomonas, Pseudovibrio, Rhodobacterales and of the phylum Bacteroidetes were identified as the dominant denitrifiers. Among the fermenting organisms co-enriched with the denitrifiers was a novel archaeon affiliated with the recently proposed DPANN-superphylum. The pan-genome of populations affiliated to Pseudovibrio encoded a NirK as well as a NirS nitrite reductase, indicating the rare co-occurrence of both evolutionary unrelated nitrite reductases within coexisting subpopulations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)3275-3286
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Archaea
  • Bacteria
  • Denitrification
  • Geologic Sediments
  • Nitrite Reductases
  • Oceans and Seas
  • Phylogeny
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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