Candidatus NitrotogaDid we forget anything? Let us know

Genus nameCandidatus Nitrotoga
Alternative names
NCBI taxonomy ID453161

Taxonomy (MiDAS 2.0)


16S gene copy number2

 In situOther
Hydrophobic cell surface

Confocal micrographs of FISH-stained Nitrotoga-like bacteria in activated sludge samples from WWTPs Bad Zwischenahn. Probes FGall221b (red) and EUB338mix (blue) at high magnification. Nitrotoga appears magenta. Scale bar = 10 microns. - Source:2


POSNEGVariableNot assessed


"Candidatus Nitrotoga" are nitrite oxidizing bacteria that are abundant in some plants. In some cases they are the only detectable NOB present 2 1. They possess an aerobic chemolithotroph metabolism with oxidation of nitrite to nitrate. Carbon dioxide is used as the sole carbon source 3 2. The nitrate-oxidizing activity of all characterized enriched "Ca. Nitrotoga" members is suggested to be more favorable under cold temperature, except the first isolate "Ca. Nitrotoga fabula" which has temperature optimum at 24 - 28 °C 6. Moreover, a slightly acidic pH (5.7 to 6.8) and elevated nitrite loading were reported to favor growth of "Ca." Nitrotoga" over Nitrospira* 7 8 9.

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Distribution plant/process configuration

Evidence suggests that lower operating temperatures gives these organisms a competitive advantage over other NOB 4 2 5.


The first isolate "Ca. Nitrotoga fabula" and several enriched "Ca. Nitrotoga" members 6

FISH probes

Ntoga122 2


 In situOther
Aerobic Heterotroph
Nitrite Reduction
Sulfate Reduction
Short-chain Fatty Acids
Proteins/Amino Acids

Abundance Information

 10 % percentileMedian90 % percentile
Activated Sludge000.7

Predominant InActivated sludge


[1] Saunders, Albertsen, Vollertsen, Nielsen (2016): The activated sludge ecosystem contains a core community of abundant organisms. ISME J 10 (1): 11-20. doi:10.1038/ismej.2015.117

[2] Lücker, Schwarz, Gruber-Dorninger, Spieck, Wagner, Daims, et al. (2015): Nitrotoga-like bacteria are previously unrecognized key nitrite oxidizers in full-scale wastewater treatment plants. ISME J 9 (3): 708-20. doi:10.1038/ismej.2014.158

[3] Alawi, Lipski, Sanders, Pfeiffer, Spieck (2007): Cultivation of a novel cold-adapted nitrite oxidizing betaproteobacterium from the Siberian Arctic. ISME J 1 (3): 256-64.

[4] Alawi, Off, Kaya, Spieck (2009): Temperature influences the population structure of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria in activated sludge. Environ Microbiol Rep 1 (3): 184-90. doi:10.1111/j.1758-2229.2009.00029.x

[5] Nowka, Daims, Spieck (2015): Comparison of oxidation kinetics of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria: nitrite availability as a key factor in niche differentiation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 81 (2): 745-53. doi:10.1128/AEM.02734-14

[6] Kitzinger, Koch, Lücker, Sedlacek, Herbold, Schwarz, et al. (2018): Characterization of the First " Nitrotoga" Isolate Reveals Metabolic Versatility and Separate Evolution of Widespread Nitrite-Oxidizing Bacteria. MBio 9 (4): . doi:10.1128/mBio.01186-18

[7] Kinnunen, Gülay, Albrechtsen, Dechesne, Smets (2017): Nitrotoga is selected over Nitrospira in newly assembled biofilm communities from a tap water source community at increased nitrite loading. Environ. Microbiol. 19 (7): 2785-2793. doi:10.1111/1462-2920.13792

[8] Hüpeden, Wegen, Off, Lücker, Bedarf, Daims, et al. (2016): Relative Abundance of Nitrotoga spp. in a Biofilter of a Cold-Freshwater Aquaculture Plant Appears To Be Stimulated by Slightly Acidic pH. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 82 (6): 1838-45. doi:10.1128/AEM.03163-15

[9] Ma, Yang, Wang, Yuan, Wang, Peng, et al. (2017): Inactivation and adaptation of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria when exposed to free nitrous acid. Bioresour. Technol. 245 (Pt A): 1266-1270. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2017.08.074

[10] Boddicker, Mosier (2018): Genomic profiling of four cultivated Candidatus Nitrotoga spp. predicts broad metabolic potential and environmental distribution. ISME J 12 (12): 2864-2882. doi:10.1038/s41396-018-0240-8

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