Diversity of denitrifying bacteria in the greenwater system of coastal aquaculture


1 Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture, 75, Santhome High Road, R.A. Puram, Chennai 600028, India

2 Department of Botany and Research Center, The Madura College (Autonomous), Madurai 625011, India

3 School of Edaphic Stress Management, National Institute of Abiotic Stress Management, Baramati (Dist. Pune) 413 115, India


Greenwater technology is based on integrating finfishes inside pens for zero water exchange system of shrimp aquaculture. Nitrogen transformation could be improved by rearing euryhaline finfishes like grey mullet, milkfish which have a broad diet and tolerate poor water quality. The abundance of four denitrifying functional genes coding for nitrate reductase (narG and napA), nitrite reductase (nirS), nitricoxide reductase (qnorB) and nitrousoxide reductase (nosZ) has been examined in the greenwater system through a metagenomic approach. Phylogeny revealed homology of narG clones with uncultured environmental clones, whereas napA clone sequences were found to have homology with cultured (Stappia aggregata) and uncultured microorganisms. The nirS clones show uniqueness with Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus, Aromatoleum aromaticum, and Ruegeria pomeroyi. The qnorB gene has been reported for the first time from culture systems along the Indian coast and clone exhibited 84–87 % identity with different uncultured bacteria. The nosZ clones are closely affiliated with S. aggregate and alpha bacterium. This study revealed denitrifying diversity from a greenwater system which could eventually be used in planning the future strategy for comprehending nitrogen fluxes, greenhouse gases and their mitigation in coastal aquaculture systems.