Article thumbnail

Advances in methods for detection of anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) bacteria

By Meng Li and Ji-Dong Gu


Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox), the biochemical process oxidizing ammonium into dinitrogen gas using nitrite as an electron acceptor, has only been recognized for its significant role in the global nitrogen cycle not long ago, and its ubiquitous distribution in a wide range of environments has changed our knowledge about the contributors to the global nitrogen cycle. Currently, several groups of methods are used in detection of anammox bacteria based on their physiological and biochemical characteristics, cellular chemical composition, and both 16S rRNA gene and selective functional genes as biomarkers, including hydrazine oxidoreductase and nitrite reductase encoding genes hzo and nirS, respectively. Results from these methods coupling with advances in quantitative PCR, reverse transcription of mRNA genes and stable isotope labeling have improved our understanding on the distribution, diversity, and activity of anammox bacteria in different environments both natural and engineered ones. In this review, we summarize these methods used in detection of anammox bacteria from various environments, highlight the strengths and weakness of these methods, and also discuss the new development potentials on the existing and new techniques in the future

Topics: Mini-Review
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.

Suggested articles


  1. (2010). (2011a) Seasonal dynamics of anammox bacteria in estuarial sediment of the Mai Po Nature Reserve revealed by analyzing the 16S rRNA and hydrazine oxidoreductase (hzo) genes.
  2. (2005). Anammox organisms: enrichment, cultivation, and environmental analysis.
  3. (2010). Co-existence of anammox and denitrification for simultaneous nitrogen and carbon removal—strategies and issues.
  4. (2000). Detection and classification of atmospheric methane oxidizing bacteria in soil.
  5. (2008). Environmentaldetectionofoctahaemcytochromechydroxylamine/ hydrazine oxidoreductase genes of aerobic and anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing bacteria. Environ Microbiol 10:3140–3149
  6. (2002). Factors controlling anaerobic ammonium oxidation with nitrite in marine sediments. Appl Environ Microbiol 68:3802–3808 Dalsgaard
  7. (1990). Fluorescent-oligonucleotide probing of whole cells for determinative, phylogenetic, and environmental studies in microbiology.
  8. (2002). Improved nitrogen removal by application of new nitrogen-cycle bacteria.
  9. (2000). Molecular evidence for genus level diversity of bacteria capable of catalyzing anaerobic ammonium oxidation. Syst Appl Microbiol 23:93–106
  10. (2010). Potential roles of anaerobic ammonium and methane oxidation in the nitrogen cycle of wetland ecosystems.
  11. (2002). Production of N2 through anaerobic ammonium oxidation coupled to nitrate reduction in marine sediments.
  12. (1997). Vertical patterns of nitrogen transformations during infiltration in two wetland soils. Appl Environ Microbiol 63:3648–3656 Devol AH