Microbes play a prominent role in the global nitrogen cycle. One link in that cycle, the reduction of atmospheric dinitrogen (N2) to ammonia, is accomplished only by prokaryotes. Ammonia is assimilated by cells and is incorporated into numerous biomolecules. In addition to aliphatic amines and amino acids, there are thousands of naturally occurring nitrogenous ring compounds. For one class alone, the alkaloids, over 10,000 different structures have been elucidated. Nitrogenous industrial compounds include NH3, nitrate, and nitric acid.

For more information:

Search Medline for nitrogen metabolism AND bacteria

Tavares CR, Rocha RR, Guedes TA. Nitrification and denitrification processes for biologic treatment of industrial effluents. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2001 Spring;91-93:437-46.

Villaverde S, Lacalle ML, Garcia-Encina PA, Fdz-Polanco F. Nitrification-denitrification of UASB effluents highly loaded with nitrogen in an activated sludge reactor operated with short cycled aeration. Water Sci Technol. 2001;44(4):279-86.


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