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With the increased use of chemical fertilizers in agriculture, many densely populated countries face environmental problems associated with high ammonia emissions. The process of anaerobic ammonia oxidation ('anammox') is one of the most innovative technological advances in the removal of ammonia nitrogen from waste water. This new process combines ammonia(More)
Modern agriculture has accelerated biological methane and nitrogen cycling on a global scale. Freshwater sediments often receive increased downward fluxes of nitrate from agricultural runoff and upward fluxes of methane generated by anaerobic decomposition. In theory, prokaryotes should be capable of using nitrate to oxidize methane anaerobically, but such(More)
The physiology of anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) aggregates grown in a sequencing batch reactor was investigated quantitatively. The physiological pH and temperature ranges were 6.7 to 8.3 and 20 to 43 degrees C, respectively. The affinity constants for the substrates ammonium and nitrite were each less than 0.1 mg of nitrogen per liter. The anammox(More)
The availability of fixed inorganic nitrogen (nitrate, nitrite and ammonium) limits primary productivity in many oceanic regions. The conversion of nitrate to N2 by heterotrophic bacteria (denitrification) is believed to be the only important sink for fixed inorganic nitrogen in the ocean. Here we provide evidence for bacteria that anaerobically oxidize(More)
Only three biological pathways are known to produce oxygen: photosynthesis, chlorate respiration and the detoxification of reactive oxygen species. Here we present evidence for a fourth pathway, possibly of considerable geochemical and evolutionary importance. The pathway was discovered after metagenomic sequencing of an enrichment culture that couples(More)
Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) has become a main focus in oceanography and wastewater treatment. It is also the nitrogen cycle's major remaining biochemical enigma. Among its features, the occurrence of hydrazine as a free intermediate of catabolism, the biosynthesis of ladderane lipids and the role of cytoplasm differentiation are unique in(More)
Recently discovered microorganisms affiliated to the bacterial phylum NC10, named "Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera", perform nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation. These microorganisms could be important players in a novel way of anaerobic wastewater treatment where ammonium and residual dissolved methane might be removed at the expense of(More)
So far, microbial physiology has dedicated itself mainly to pure cultures. In nature, cross feeding and competition are important aspects of microbial physiology and these can only be addressed by studying complete communities such as enrichment cultures. Metagenomic sequencing is a powerful tool to characterize such mixed cultures. In the analysis of(More)
Wetlands are the largest natural source of atmospheric methane, the second most important greenhouse gas. Methane flux to the atmosphere depends strongly on the climate; however, by far the largest part of the methane formed in wetland ecosystems is recycled and does not reach the atmosphere. The biogeochemical controls on the efficient oxidation of methane(More)
Two distinct microbial processes, denitrification and anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox), are responsible for the release of fixed nitrogen as dinitrogen gas (N(2)) to the atmosphere. Denitrification has been studied for over 100 years and its intermediates and enzymes are well known. Even though anammox is a key biogeochemical process of equal(More)