The Open Environmental Research Journal

Formerly: The Open Ecology Journal

ISSN: 2590-2776 ― Volume 16, 2023

Spatial Variation of nosZ-communities in the Low Oxygen Waters of Prado Hydroelectric (South-West of Colombia)

Mauricio E. Pacheco Montealegre, Maribeb Castro González*
Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad del Tolima, Ibagué, Colombia


Denitrification is a process of reduction of nitrate to dinitrogen by facultative anaerobic microorganisms, which have functional genes encoding denitrification enzymes (reductases). The nosZ gene encoding the enzyme that reduces nitrous oxide to dinitrogen was utilized in this research, as molecular marker for denitrifying communities into low oxygen waters of Prado reservoir. Our objective was to analyze and compare the composition (richness and abundance) of nosZ-type denitrifiers in relationship with physicochemical variables (oxygen, pH, temperature, nitrate, nitrite and ammonium) in three areas of this dam: Isla del Sol, Lozanía and Tomogó which are distant and have different anthropogenic influences. For this, we performed DNA extraction, amplification, 454 pyrosequencing and phylogenetic analysis of nosZ gene. The Chao1 estimator and Shannon index were used for compare richness and diversity of nosZ gene; and the relationship between compositions of operational taxonomic units (OTU) with physicochemical variables was established by canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). In the reservoir 45 nosZ-OTUs to species level (80% similarity) were detected. Lozanía had the highest number of OTUs (25) and greatest diversity (SCHAO1: 35; H: 2.0), compared to the other areas sampling. The phylogenetic analysis showed the presence of many OTUs (28 of 45) with low similarity to Proteobacteria group and high similarity with sequences of environmental clones reported previously. The CCA showed that the nosZ-community composition of Prado dam was related with low pH (6.2), oxygen (0.01mg / L) and nitrate (<0.25 mg / L) recorded in the water column.

Keywords: 454 sequencing, Dam, Denitrifiers, Diversity, Functional gene, Microbial community, NosZgene.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2016
Volume: 9
First Page: 1
Last Page: 12
Publisher Id: TOECOLJ-9-1-1
DOI: 10.2174/1874213001609010001

Article History:

Received Date: 21/4/2015
Revision Received Date: 17/5/2016
Acceptance Date: 30/06/2016
Electronic publication date: 15/09/2016
Collection year: 2016

© Montealegre and González ; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Facultad de Ciencias, Programa de Biología Aplicada, Universidad Militar Nueva Granada, Cajicá, Colombia; E-mail:

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