Mechanisms and control of NO-2 inhibition of anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox)

Guangbin Li, Jose Maria Carvajal-Arroyo, Reyes Sierra-Alvarez, Jim A. Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Nitrite (NO-2), one of the main substrates in the anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) process, has the potential to inhibit anammox bacteria. The sensitivity of anammox cells with different energy status to NO-2 was evaluated, and addition of nitrate (NO-3 inhibition on the basis of narK gene with the putative function of facilitating NO-3 / NO-2 antiporter. The results showed that the resistance of anammox bacteria to NO-2 inhibition follows the order: activecells > starved-cells > resting-cells > starved-/resting-cells. Anammmox resting cells have increasing tolerance to NO-2 in the pH range from 7.0 to 7.5. Dissipating the proton gradient by using carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazine (CCCP) caused severe inhibition at all pH values including pH = 7.5. Addition of NO-3 enabled activity recovery of NO-2-inhibited anammox bacteria regardless of whether the proton gradient was disrupted or not, supporting the hypothesis of NO-3 - dependent detoxification via a secondary transport system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-336
Number of pages7
JournalWater Environment Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Detoxification
  • Inhibitory mechanisms
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrite
  • Nitrogen removal
  • Proton gradient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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