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Ecology of Thioploca spp.: Nitrate and sulfur storage in relation to chemical microgradients and influence of Thioploca spp. on the sedimentary nitrogen cycle

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Zopfi,  Jakob
Department of Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Jørgensen,  Bo Barker
Department of Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Zopfi_2001.pdf
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Citation

Zopfi, J., Kjær, T., Nielsen, L. P., & Jørgensen, B. B. (2001). Ecology of Thioploca spp.: Nitrate and sulfur storage in relation to chemical microgradients and influence of Thioploca spp. on the sedimentary nitrogen cycle. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 67(12), 5530-5537.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-472F-9
Abstract
Microsensors, including a recently developed NO3 − biosensor, were applied to measure O2 and NO3 − profiles in marine sediments from the upwelling area off central Chile and to investigate the influence of Thioploca spp. on the sedimentary nitrogen metabolism. The studies were performed in undisturbed sediment cores incubated in a small laboratory flume to simulate the environmental conditions of low O2, high NO3 −, and bottom water current. On addition of NO3 −and NO2 −, Thioploca spp. exhibited positive chemotaxis and stretched out of the sediment into the flume water. In a core densely populated with Thioploca, the penetration depth of NO3 − was only 0.5 mm and a sharp maximum of NO3 − uptake was observed 0.5 mm above the sediment surface. In sediments with only fewThioploca spp., NO3 − was detectable down to a depth of 2 mm and the maximum consumption rates were observed within the sediment. No chemotaxis toward nitrous oxide (N2O) was observed, which is consistent with the observation that Thioploca does not denitrify but reduces intracellular NO3 − to NH4 +. Measurements of the intracellular NO3 − and S0 pools inThioploca filaments from various depths in the sediment gave insights into possible differences in the migration behavior between the different species. Living filaments containing significant amounts of intracellular NO3 − were found to a depth of at least 13 cm, providing final proof for the vertical shuttling of Thioploca spp. and nitrate transport into the sediment.