Volume 24 (2009) Issue 2 Pages 168-174
The present study describes the occurrence of a unique archaeal ammonia monooxygenase alpha subunit (amoA) gene in nitrifying acid-sulfate soil microcosms at pH 3.5. The soil was collected from an abandoned paddy field in Thailand. Microcosms were incubated in the dark at 30°C for 372 days with the following three treatments: addition of ammonium sulfate solution once a month (I) or once a week (II), and addition of only sterilized water (III). A quantitative PCR analysis revealed an increase in abundance of the archaeal amoA gene in microcosm soils in which nitrate concentrations increased after incubation. A phylogenetic analysis indicated a predominance of the novel gene, and a predominance of a betaproteobacterial amoA gene affiliated with the genus Nitrosospira. A 16S rRNA gene-based PCR assay revealed that crenarchaeotic Group I.1d was predominant among the Crenarchaeota in microcosms. These results suggest the presence of ammonia-oxidizing archaea corresponding to the unique amoA lineage in nitrifying acid-sulfate soil microcosms at pH 3.5.