Graeme W. Nicol

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Ammonia oxidation is the first step in nitrification, a key process in the global nitrogen cycle that results in the formation of nitrate through microbial activity. The increase in nitrate availability in soils is important for plant nutrition, but it also has considerable impact on groundwater pollution owing to leaching. Here we show that archaeal(More)
Autotrophic ammonia oxidation occurs in acid soils, even though laboratory cultures of isolated ammonia oxidizing bacteria fail to grow below neutral pH. To investigate whether archaea possessing ammonia monooxygenase genes were responsible for autotrophic nitrification in acid soils, the community structure and phylogeny of ammonia oxidizing bacteria and(More)
Nitrification is a fundamental component of the global nitrogen cycle and leads to significant fertilizer loss and atmospheric and groundwater pollution. Nitrification rates in acidic soils (pH < 5.5), which comprise 30% of the world's soils, equal or exceed those of neutral soils. Paradoxically, autotrophic ammonia oxidizing bacteria and archaea, which(More)
Ammonia oxidation is the first and rate-limiting step of nitrification and is performed by both ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB). However, the environmental drivers controlling the abundance, composition, and activity of AOA and AOB communities are not well characterized, and the relative importance of these two groups in soil(More)
Autotrophic archaeal and bacterial ammonia-oxidisers (AOA and AOB) drive soil nitrification. Ammonia limitation, mixotrophy, and pH have been suggested as factors providing niche specialisation and differentiation between soil AOA and AOB. However, current data from genomes, cultures, field studies, and microcosms suggest that no single factor discriminates(More)
Ammonia oxidation, as the first step in the nitrification process, plays a central role in the global cycling of nitrogen. Although bacteria are traditionally considered to be responsible for ammonia oxidation, a role for archaea has been suggested by data from metagenomic studies and by the isolation of a marine, autotrophic, ammonia-oxidizing,(More)
The first step of nitrification, oxidation of ammonia to nitrite, is performed by both ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidising bacteria (AOB) in soil, but their relative contributions to ammonia oxidation and existence in distinct ecological niches remain to be determined. To determine whether available ammonia concentration has a differential(More)
Cultivation-independent molecular surveys show that members of the kingdom Crenarchaeota within the domain Archaea represent a substantial component of microbial communities in aquatic and terrestrial environments. Recently, metagenomic studies have revealed that such Crenarchaeota contain and express genes related to those of bacterial ammonia(More)
Autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria were considered to be responsible for the majority of ammonia oxidation in soil until the recent discovery of the autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing archaea. To assess the relative contributions of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers to soil ammonia oxidation, their growth was analysed during active nitrification in(More)
Soil pH is a major determinant of microbial ecosystem processes and potentially a major driver of evolution, adaptation, and diversity of ammonia oxidizers, which control soil nitrification. Archaea are major components of soil microbial communities and contribute significantly to ammonia oxidation in some soils. To determine whether pH drives evolutionary(More)