HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Microbiologists find a new source of nitrogen fixation

Corkscrew bacteria in termite guts and natural waters help capture a key element

Microbiologists have discovered that a type of bacteria found in termite guts and in fresh and salt water plays a major role in the process of nitrogen fixation. All organisms require the element to survive.

In the June 29 issue of the journal Science, a team led by National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded microbiologist John Breznak of Michigan State University (MSU) reports that spirochetes - spiral and wavy-shaped bacteria - are important providers of nitrogen in termites, whose ability to thrive despite a nitrogen-poor diet of plant matter had posed a decades old puzzle.

Although nitrogen gas makes up 80 percent of the air we breathe, only certain microbes can capture and use it for growth - a process called nitrogen fixation. Once nitrogen gas becomes "fixed" by microbes, it enters the food chain and is ultimately used by plants and animals.

Scientists have known for about 30 years that nitrogen fixation occurs within termites and could furnish up to 60 percent of the insects' nitrogen needs. But the particular microbes performing that fixation had been unclear. With colleagues at MSU and the California Institute of Technology, Breznak isolated spirochetes from termite guts and grew them in test tubes where they could be examined in detail.

"The spirochetes not only contained the genes for nitrogen fixation," Breznak said, "they performed nitrogen fixation at rates consistent with those seen in living termites. This was very exciting, because nitrogen fixation had never been described before in these fascinating, widely distributed bacteria."

The researchers then examined other spirochetes and found that nitrogen fixation also occurs in free-living, aquatic spirochetes, implying that their impact is global. They also found genes for nitrogen fixation in spirochetes that inhabit the human mouth and the intes
'"/>

Contact: Tom Garritano
tgarrita@nsf.gov
703-292-8070
National Science Foundation
28-Jun-2001


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. New Arizona State center brings science to policy on issues of water resources and urban growth
2. Posters highlight water, energy and other natural resource research
3. Tufts University establishes $4 million dollar tissue engineering resource center
4. Review article makes case for a new source of cells in the body
5. Most Americans not sure about the sources of high cholesterol
6. National Bioinformatics Resource Center to support infectious disease research
7. Cardiofunk mutation: Probable source of congenital heart defects
8. Nerac to expand patent collection with 17 more resources
9. Crystallographers take note: A synchrotron light source for your home lab
10. Bay area to get unique x-ray microscopy resource
11. Workshop for new synchrotron light source at Brookhaven

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Microbiologists find new source nitrogen fixation

(Date:7/2/2015)... DUBLIN , June 25, 2015 ... the addition of the "Next Generation Biometrics Market ... to 2020" report to their offering. ... $24.4 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 17.9% ... is the leading application for the market. Safran ...
(Date:6/30/2015)... June 30, 2015 Genisphere announced ... CEO to help further develop Genisphere,s therapeutics capabilities and ... experience, having spent much of the last 25 years ... Baxter Bioscience, and Johnson & Johnson. Tom started his ... and Biotech Corporate Finance. He graduated from Dartmouth College ...
(Date:6/25/2015)... -- According to a new market ... Technology, Material (Optical Prism, Piezoelectric, Capacitive & Adhesives), ... & Geography - Global Forecast to 2014 - ... expected to reach $14,500.07 Million by 2020, at ... 76 market Tables and 109 Figures spread through ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Next Generation Biometrics Market 2015 - Global Forecast to 2020 with Safran, NEC, 3M Cogent, Fujitsu & Suprema Dominating the $24 Billion Market 2Next Generation Biometrics Market 2015 - Global Forecast to 2020 with Safran, NEC, 3M Cogent, Fujitsu & Suprema Dominating the $24 Billion Market 3Genisphere Appoints New CEO, Thomas Bliss 2Genisphere Appoints New CEO, Thomas Bliss 3Fingerprint Sensors Market Worth $14,500.07 Million by 2020 2Fingerprint Sensors Market Worth $14,500.07 Million by 2020 3Fingerprint Sensors Market Worth $14,500.07 Million by 2020 4
(Date:7/28/2015)...  Faced with increasing challenges such as costly ... symptomatic, the global healthcare industry today is gradually ... curing or significantly changing the course of a ... regenerative medicine as a viable alternative. ... health with the potential to resolve unmet medical ...
(Date:7/27/2015)... ... July 27, 2015 , ... This is a ... provides a basic overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry ... development trends, competitive landscape analysis, and key regions development status. Development policies and ...
(Date:7/27/2015)... -- Research presented at the 2015 AACC Annual Meeting ... that led to a fingerprick Ebola test becoming the ... receive approval from the World Health Organization (WHO). This ... West Africa by identifying suspected ... isolate and treat these patients much faster than is ...
(Date:7/27/2015)... , July 27, 2015 Junto Health, ... startups share information and develop new technology solutions, today ... Policy Group (SPG), a leader in health care policy ... now engage in a collaborative innovation process while, at ... latest trends in public policy, health care finance and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Stem Cell Therapy to Redefine Regenerative Medicine, says Frost & Sullivan 2Stem Cell Therapy to Redefine Regenerative Medicine, says Frost & Sullivan 3Stem Cell Therapy to Redefine Regenerative Medicine, says Frost & Sullivan 4Stem Cell Therapy to Redefine Regenerative Medicine, says Frost & Sullivan 52015 Biophotonics Market Global Research 22015 Biophotonics Market Global Research 3Rapid Ebola Test Could Play Key Role in Efforts to End Lingering Outbreak 2Rapid Ebola Test Could Play Key Role in Efforts to End Lingering Outbreak 3Junto Health Announces a Unique Partnership with Sachs Policy Group 2Junto Health Announces a Unique Partnership with Sachs Policy Group 3Junto Health Announces a Unique Partnership with Sachs Policy Group 4
Cached News: