Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel microorganism 'Nitrososphaera viennensis' isolated

Date:
April 28, 2011
Source:
University of Vienna
Summary:
Microorganisms play an important role in global nutrient cycles. A research team has isolated the first ammonium oxidizing Archaeon from a soil in Vienna and thus proved its activity.

A single Nitrososphaera viennensis cell has a diameter of just 0.8 micrometers.
Credit: University of Vienna, Department Genetics in Ecology

Microorganisms play an important role in global nutrient cycles. A research team led by Christa Schleper, head of the Department of Genetics in Ecology at the University of Vienna, has isolated the first ammonium oxidizing Archaeon from a soil in Vienna and thus proved its activity.

Related Articles


The researchers present their results on Nitrososphaera viennensis in the newest edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Life on Earth would be impossible, without the metabolic capacities of the smallest of all living forms, the bacteria and the archaea. These microorganisms play a central role in global nutrient cycles, because they degrade organic matter to the smallest compounds, thus bringing them back to the atmosphere or recycling them for the synthesis of novel cells.

"However, the great diversity and high numbers of Bacteria and Archaea in soils have only been detected relatively recently, with the help of molecular biological methods," says Christa Schleper, head of the department of Genetics in Ecology of the University of Vienna.

Already six years ago co-workers who are now working at the department have predicted the high abundance of archaea in soil with the help of such molecular techniques. Since then it was hypothesized that these archaea contribute significantly to the nitrogen cycle, based on their capability to oxidize ammonia to nitrite.

From the Garden of the University

Co-workers of Christa Schleper, have now succeeded to obtain the first ammonia oxidizing archaeon from soil in pure culture and to directly demonstrate its physiological activity. It stems from the garden of the University Center at Althanstrasse in Vienna's 9th district and carries the name Nitrososphaera viennensis (the spherical ammonia oxidizer from soil). A single cells has a diameter of only 0.8 micrometers.

An evolutionary old organism?

Most of the Archaea live in extreme environments, such as e.g. volcanic hot springs and are therefore often regarded as evolutionary relicts. "Nitrososphaera viennensis could also have evolutionary old traits, because different from its bacterial counterparts who like well-fertilized agricultural soils, it grows preferably under low nutrient conditions that are more reminiscient of pristine soils," says Schleper.

Research results with NanoSIMS

Different from bacterial ammonia oxidiziers "Nitrososphaera viennensis" needs low amounts of organic material for growth beside ammonia and carbon dioxide, as demonstrated with the help of a NanoSIMS. This highly modern secondary ion mass spectrometer which works at nano-scale resolution has only recently been installed through the Department of Microbial Ecology and with support of different faculties of the University. It is used by researchers of the faculty of Life Sciences, the faculties of Geology, Geography und Astronomy, and the faculty of Chemistry as well as the Max F. Perutz Laboratories.

Relevance for Agriculture

Nitrososphaera viennensis is the first cultivated representative of archaeal ammonia oxidizers, and therefore a modell organisms of this ecologically relevant group of microorganisms. The study of this species will be of relevance in agriculture, because ammonia oxidation has a great influence on the availability of nitrogen for plants and on the accumulation of nitrate in groundwaters says Schleper. She sees a wide field of upcoming research, e.g. to test Nitrososphaera viennensis for its capability to produce N2O (nitrous oxide). This gas which is produced in considerable amounts by the bacterial counterparts, contributes to the depletion of ozon and thus plays a role in global warming. "Since relatives of Nitrososphaera viennensis are broadly distributed and account for up to 10 million cells per gram of soil it will be of relevance to measure their contribution to such pocesses."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Vienna. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Maria Tourna, Michaela Stieglmeier, Anja Spang, Martin Kφnneke, Arno Schintlmeister, Tim Urich, Marion Engel, Michael Schloter, Michael Wagner, Andreas Richter und Christa Schleper. Nitrososphaera viennensis, an ammonia oxidizing archaeon from soil. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1013488108

Cite This Page:

University of Vienna. "Novel microorganism 'Nitrososphaera viennensis' isolated." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110425153556.htm>.
University of Vienna. (2011, April 28). Novel microorganism 'Nitrososphaera viennensis' isolated. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110425153556.htm
University of Vienna. "Novel microorganism 'Nitrososphaera viennensis' isolated." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110425153556.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) — A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — Tryptophan, a chemical found naturally in turkey meat, gets blamed for sleepiness after Thanksgiving meals. But science points to other culprits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins