[Microbial ecology of archaeal ammonia oxidation--a review].
Bacteria have long been considered as the key driver of ammonia oxidation on earth. This concept has been challenged recently by the discovery of chemolithoautotrophic isolate of ammonia-oxidizing archaeon in marine. The relative contribution of bacteria and archaea to ammonia oxidation is essential for our understanding of global nitrogen cycle. Recent study suggested a key role of archaeal ammonia oxidation in the marine nitrogen cycle. Our work however revealed the predominace of bacterial ammonia oxidation in agricultural soil. From the biogeochemical perspective, here we summarized the discovery, progress and prospect of archaeal ammonia oxidation. Of great interest in the future would be to elucidate the metabolisms of ammonia-oxidizing archaeon in natural environment and the underlying mechanism that leads to the physiological divergence of ammonia oxidizers.
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