Isolation of sublineage I Nitrospira by a novel cultivation strategy

Hirotsugu Fujitani, Norisuke Ushiki, Satoshi Tsuneda*, Yoshiteru Aoi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Nitrification is an important process in the biogeochemical nitrogen cycle and is widely exploited in biological wastewater treatment. Recently, Nitrospira has been recognized as the numerically dominant nitrite-oxidizing bacterial genus and is primarily responsible for the second step of aerobic nitrification. Nevertheless, the physiological properties of Nitrospira remain poorly understood because the organisms are difficult to isolate and culture. Here, we report a novel cultivation strategy for obtaining members of the Nitrospira sublineage I in pure culture. The method combines: (i) selective enrichment of Nitrospira using a continuous feeding reactor and (ii) purification followed by sub-cultivation via a cell sorting system by focusing on the unique characteristics of Nitrospira forming spherical micro-colonies. This strategy is potentially applicable to other uncultured or unisolated Nitrospira and could accelerate the physiological and biochemical understandings of this important group of organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3030-3040
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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