The discovery of nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation (n-damo) mediated by 'Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera' with nitrite and methane as substrates has connected biogeochemical carbon and nitrogen cycles in a new way. The paddy fields often carry substantial methane and nitrate, thus may be a favorable habitat for n-damo bacteria. In this paper, the vertical-temporal molecular fingerprints of M. oxyfera-like bacteria, including abundance and community composition, were investigated in a paddy soil core in Jiangyin, near the Yangtze River. Through qPCR investigation, high abundance of M. oxyfera-like bacteria up to 1.0 × 10(8) copies (g d.w.s.)(-1) in summer and 8.5 × 10(7) copies (g d.w.s.)(-1) in winter was observed in the ecotone of soil and groundwater in the paddy soil core, which was the highest in natural environments to our knowledge. In the ecotone, the ratio of M. oxyfera-like bacteria to total bacteria reached peak values of 2.80% in summer and 4.41% in winter. Phylogenetic analysis showed n-damo bacteria in the paddy soil were closely related to M. oxyfera and had high diversity in the soil/groundwater ecotone. All of the results indicated the soil/groundwater ecotone of the Jiangyin paddy field was a favorable environment for the growth of n-damo bacteria.
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