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This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2022

Title: Ammonia-oxidizing archaea are integral to nitrogen cycling in a highly fertile agricultural soil
Abstract Nitrification is a central process in the global nitrogen cycle, carried out by a complex network of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), complete ammonia-oxidizing (comammox) bacteria, and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB). Nitrification is responsible for significant nitrogen leaching and N 2 O emissions and thought to impede plant nitrogen use efficiency in agricultural systems. However, the actual contribution of each nitrifier group to net rates and N 2 O emissions remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that highly fertile agricultural soils with high organic matter mineralization rates could allow a detailed characterization of N cycling in these soils. Using a combination of molecular and activity measurements, we show that in a mixed AOA, AOB, and comammox community, AOA outnumbered low diversity assemblages of AOB and comammox 50- to 430-fold, and strongly dominated net nitrification activities with low N 2 O yields between 0.18 and 0.41 ng N 2 O–N per µg NO x –N in cropped, fallow, as well as native soil. Nitrification rates were not significantly different in plant-covered and fallow plots. Mass balance calculations indicated that plants relied heavily on nitrate, and not ammonium as primary nitrogen source in these soils. Together, these results imply AOA as integral part more » of the nitrogen cycle in a highly fertile agricultural soil. « less
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Award ID(s):
1832229 0620409 2025954
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
ISME Communications
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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