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A refined set of rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes for in situ detection and quantification of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria

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Kitzinger,  Katharina
Department of Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Lukumbuzya, M., Kristensen, J. M., Kitzinger, K., Pommerening-Roeser, A., Nielsen, P. H., Wagner, M., et al. (2020). A refined set of rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes for in situ detection and quantification of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. Water Research, 186: 116372. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2020.116372.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-CCD2-6
Abstract
Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) of the betaproteobacterial genera Nitrosomonas and Nitrosospira are key nitrifying microorganisms in many natural and engineered ecosystems. Since many AOB remain un-cultured, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes has been one of the most widely used approaches to study the community composition, abundance, and other features of AOB directly in environmental samples. However, the established and widely used AOB-specific 16S rRNA-targeted FISH probes were designed up to two decades ago, based on much smaller rRNA gene sequence datasets than available today. Several of these probes cover their target AOB lineages incompletely and suffer from a weak target specificity, which causes cross-hybridization of probes that should detect different AOB lineages. Here, a set of new highly specific 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes was developed and experimentally evaluated that complements the existing probes and enables the specific detection and differentiation of the known, major phylogenetic clusters of betaproteobacterial AOB. The new probes were successfully applied to visualize and quantify AOB in activated sludge and biofilm samples from seven pilotand full-scale wastewater treatment systems. Based on its improved target group coverage and specificity, the refined probe set will facilitate future in situ analyses of AOB. (c) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)