Functional-Structural Analysis of Nitrogen-Cycle Bacteria in a Hypersaline Mat from the Omani Desert

Raeid M.M. Abed*, Dirk de Beer, Peter Stief

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Potential rates of ammonia oxidation, denitrification and anammox were measured in a hypersaline microbial mat. Ammonia oxidation and denitrification had potential rates of 0.8 ± 0.4 and 2.0 ± 1.0 nmol N g−1 h−1, respectively, anammox was not detectable. The rate of N2O production under anoxic conditions accounted for ca. 5% of total denitrification. Using qPCR, the ammonia-oxidation (amoA) genes of gammaproteobacteria had the highest copy number. The denitrification genes narG and nirS exhibited comparable estimates. Sequences of nirS gene were novel, whereas nirK sequences were related to sequences from the Rhizobiales group. Sequences of the nosZ gene were the most diverse and clustered with sequences from various genera. Our results demonstrate that the hypersaline mat from Oman harbors nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria with the potential to perform respective processes at detectable rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-129
Number of pages11
JournalGeomicrobiology Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 7 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • acetylene inhibition assay
  • denitrification
  • functional genes
  • hypersaline microbial mat
  • nitrogen cycle
  • quantitative PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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