Consumption of N2O by Flavobacterium azooxidireducens sp. nov. Isolated from Decomposing Leaf Litter of Phragmites australis (Cav.)

authored by
Undine Behrendt, Tobias Spanner, Jürgen Augustin, Dominik H. Zak, Marcus A. Horn, Steffen Kolb, Andreas Ulrich

Microorganisms acting as sinks for the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N

2O) are gaining increasing attention in the development of strategies to control N

2O emissions. Non-denitrifying N

2O reducers are of particular interest because they can provide a real sink without contributing to N

2O release. The bacterial strain under investigation (IGB 4-14

T), isolated in a mesocosm experiment to study the litter decomposition of Phragmites australis (Cav.), is such an organism. It carries only a nos gene cluster with the sec-dependent Clade II nosZ and is able to consume significant amounts of N

2O under anoxic conditions. However, consumption activity is considerably affected by the O

2 level. The reduction of N

2O was not associated with cell growth, suggesting that no energy is conserved by anaerobic respiration. Therefore, the N

2O consumption of strain IGB 4-14

T rather serves as an electron sink for metabolism to sustain viability during transient anoxia and/or to detoxify high N

2O concentrations. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene similarity revealed that the strain belongs to the genus Flavobacterium. It shares a high similarity in the nos gene cluster composition and the amino acid similarity of the nosZ gene with various type strains of the genus. However, phylogenomic analysis and comparison of overall genome relatedness indices clearly demonstrated a novel species status of strain IGB 4-14

T, with Flavobacterium lacus being the most closely related species. Various phenotypic differences supported a demarcation from this species. Based on these results, we proposed a novel species Flavobacterium azooxidireducens sp. nov. (type strain IGB 4-14

T = LMG 29709

T = DSM 103580


Institute of Microbiology
External Organisation(s)
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)
Aarhus University
Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB)
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Microbiology (medical), Virology, Microbiology
Electronic version(s) (Access: Open)