Programs and projects
Project 1112

Ladderane and other lipids of anammox bacteria as tracers for present-day and past oceanic nitrogen cycling
Project leader: Prof. dr. J. S. Sinninghe Damsté
Researcher(s): Dr. D. Rush
Starting date: 1-aug-08

Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) is the bacterial oxidation of ammonium with nitrite. This natural process has just recently been discovered and seems to be responsible for more than 50% of the nitrogen loss (by production of dinitrogen gas) in the ocean. Because inorganic nitrogen is an important nutrient for phytoplankton, this has important consequences for the primary production in the ocean. In this project microbiologists from RU Nijmegen with geochemists from NIOZ will investigate how anammox bacteria will contribute to present and past nitrogen cycling in the ocean. To this end marine anammox bacteria will be cultivated under controlled conditions and their lipid composition will be studied. These data will be used to study anammox in the Arabian Sea, an area characterized by the most intense oxygen minimum zone in the world, renowned for its extensive nitrogen loss. Diagenesis of marine anammox lipids will also be studied to be able to reconstruct the occurrence of anammox in past oceans. In the Jurassic and Cretaceous there have been times when the oceans were to a large extent anoxic (so called oceanic anoxic events) and anammox is assumed to have played an important role in nitrogen loss during these periods. This project will shed light on nitrogen cycling during these enigmatic periods of extensive carbon burial.

Rush D., Jaeschke A., Hopmans E.C., Geenevasen J.A.J., Schouten S., Sinninghe Damsté J.S (2011). Short chained ladderanes in sediments: oxic biodegradation products of anammox lipids. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta75: 1662-1671.
Darwin Center authors: Hopmans E. C., Rush D., Schouten S., Sinninghe Damsté J. S.

D.J. Rush (2012). Ladderanes as tracers of present and past anaerobic ammonium oxidation.
Darwin Center authors: Rush D.

Rush D., Hopmans E.C., Wakeham S.G., Schouten S., Sinninghe Damsté J.S. (2012). Occurrence and distribution of ladderane oxidation products in different oceanic regimes.. Biogeosciences9: 2407-2418.
Darwin Center authors: Hopmans E. C., Rush D., Schouten S., Sinninghe Damsté J. S.

Rush D., Wakeham S.G., Hopmans E.C., Schouten S., Sinninghe Damsté J.S. (2012). Biomarker evidence for anammox in the oxygen minimum zone of the Eastern Tropical North Pacific. Organic Geochemistry53: 80-87.
Darwin Center authors: Hopmans E. C., Rush D., Schouten S., Sinninghe Damsté J. S.

Wakeham, S.G., Turich, C., Schubotz, F., Podlaska, A., Li, X.N., Varela, R., Astor, Y., Saenz, J.P., Rush, D., Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., Summons, R.E., Scranton, M.I., Taylor, G.T., Hinrichs, K.U. (2012). Biomarkers, chemistry and microbiology show chemoautotrophy in a multilayer chemocline in the Cariaco Basin. Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers63: 133-156.
Darwin Center authors: Rush D., Sinninghe Damsté J. S.

Rush, D.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Poulton, S.W.; Thamdrup, B.; Leigh Garside, A.; Acuña-Gonzalez, J.; Schouten, S.; Jetten, M.S.M.; Talbot, H.M. (2014). Anaerobic ammonium-oxidising bacteria: A biological source of the bacteriohopanetetrol stereoisomer in marine sediments. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta140: 50-63.
Darwin Center authors: Jetten M. S. M., Rush D., Schouten S., Sinninghe Damsté J. S.

Rush, D., Jaeschke, A., Geenevasen, J.A.J., Tegelaar, E., Pureveen, J., Lewan, M.D., Schouten, S., Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2014). Generation of unusual branched long chain alkanes from hydrous pyrolysis of anammox bacterial biomass.. Org. Geochem.76: 136-145.
Darwin Center authors: Rush D., Schouten S., Sinninghe Damsté J. S.