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:10/29/2014)... October 27, 2014 — Cambridge, MA and Hebei, China ... the complete, high quality sequencing of the Jujube genome. ... Rhamnaceae family, and the Jujube genome is particularly difficult ... other complicating factors. It is the first time that ... sequenced. This study has been recently published in ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... Genomics of the Kidney consortium ( CAGEKID ) ... exposure to aristolochic acid, an ingredient in some ... Communications , have important implications for public health. ... every year, and in Central Europe incidence rates ... International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), has been studying ...
(Date:10/28/2014)... German . ... sufficient food when times are lean? By studying wild ... researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology ... great apes can acquire extra energy needed to maintain ... sleeping nests more en route to breakfast sites containing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):BGI Tech and Hebei Agricultural University complete the genome sequencing of the jujube tree 2Kidney cancer in Central Europe 2The early chimp gets the fig 2The early chimp gets the fig 3
(Date:10/27/2014)... 2014 The report “Smart Highway ... Management, Communication, Monitoring), and by Display (Variable Message ... segments the global market into various sub-segments with ... identifies the drivers and restraints for this market ... Browse 75 market tables and 37 figures spread ...
(Date:10/27/2014)... Pa. , Oct. 27, 2014 ... Foundation of America (CCFA) announced today the launch ... , an educational campaign designed to ... diseases (IBD) on the paired role of nutrition ... To view the multimedia assets associated with this ...
(Date:10/26/2014)... The report "Data Center Networking Market ... WAN Optimization Appliances]: Global Advancements, Worldwide Forecasts & ... networking market into various segments with an in-depth ... identifies the factors driving this market, various restraints ... the future roadmaps. , Browse 106 market data ...
(Date:10/25/2014)... 2014 The report “Adipic Acid ... Geography - Global Trends & Forecast to 2019” ... to market drivers, opportunities, and trends in different ... 27 figures spread through 217 slides and in-depth ... & Forecast to 2019”., http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/adipic-acid-269.html , Early ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Smart Highway Market by Technology, and Display Expected to Reach $27.992.0 Million by 2019- New Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Smart Highway Market by Technology, and Display Expected to Reach $27.992.0 Million by 2019- New Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Smart Highway Market by Technology, and Display Expected to Reach $27.992.0 Million by 2019- New Report by MarketsandMarkets 4Celebrity Cook Sunny Anderson Teams Up With Janssen And Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Of America To Launch Educational Campaign 2Celebrity Cook Sunny Anderson Teams Up With Janssen And Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Of America To Launch Educational Campaign 3Celebrity Cook Sunny Anderson Teams Up With Janssen And Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Of America To Launch Educational Campaign 4Data Center Networking Market by Ethernet Switches, SAN & Routers Worth $21.85 Billion by 2018 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Data Center Networking Market by Ethernet Switches, SAN & Routers Worth $21.85 Billion by 2018 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Data Center Networking Market by Ethernet Switches, SAN & Routers Worth $21.85 Billion by 2018 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 4Adipic Acid Market Estimated to Grow $7,539.2 Million by 2019 - Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Adipic Acid Market Estimated to Grow $7,539.2 Million by 2019 - Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Adipic Acid Market Estimated to Grow $7,539.2 Million by 2019 - Report by MarketsandMarkets 4
Cached News: