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Volume 2015, Article ID 590434, 11 pages
Research Article

Ecology and Distribution of Thaumarchaea in the Deep Hypolimnion of Lake Maggiore

1Microbial Ecology Group, CNR-Institute of Ecosystem Study, Largo Tonolli 50, 28922 Verbania, Italy
2Microb&Co, Association for Microbial Ecology, Viale XX Settembre 45, 95128 Catania, Italy
3Limnological Station, Institute of Plant Biology, University of Zurich, Seestrasse 187, 8802 Kilchberg, Switzerland
4Institute of Hydrobiology, Biology Centre CAS, Na Sádkách 7, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic

Received 31 March 2015; Accepted 17 June 2015

Academic Editor: Ricardo Amils

Copyright © 2015 Manuela Coci et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ammonia-oxidizing Archaea (AOA) play an important role in the oxidation of ammonia in terrestrial, marine, and geothermal habitats, as confirmed by a number of studies specifically focused on those environments. Much less is known about the ecological role of AOA in freshwaters. In order to reach a high resolution at the Thaumarchaea community level, the probe MGI-535 was specifically designed for this study and applied to fluorescence in situ hybridization and catalyzed reporter deposition (CARD-FISH) analysis. We then applied it to a fine analysis of diversity and relative abundance of AOA in the deepest layers of the oligotrophic Lake Maggiore, confirming previous published results of AOA presence, but showing differences in abundance and distribution within the water column without significant seasonal trends with respect to Bacteria. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis of AOA clone libraries from deep lake water and from a lake tributary, River Maggia, suggested the riverine origin of AOA of the deep hypolimnion of the lake.