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Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 163, Issue 1, pp 16–20 | Cite as

Nitrogen loss caused by denitrifying Nitrosomonas cells using ammonium or hydrogen as electron donors and nitrite as electron acceptor

  • Eberhard Bock
  • Ingo Schmidt
  • Ralf Stüven
  • Dirk Zart
Original Paper

Abstract

Cells of the obligately lithotrophic species Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrosomonas eutropha were able to nitrify and denitrify at the same time when grown under oxygen limitation. In addition to oxygen, nitrite was used as an electron acceptor. The simultaneous nitrification and denitrification resulted in significant formation of the gaseous N-compounds nitrous oxide and dinitrogen, causing significant nitrogen loss. In mixed cultures of N. europaea and various chemoorganotrophic bacteria, the nitrogen loss was strongly influenced by the partners growing under oxygen limitation. Under anoxic conditions, pure cultures of N. eutropha were able to denitrify with molecular hydrogen as electron donor and nitrite as the only electron acceptor in a sulfide-reduced complex medium. The increase of cell numbers was directly coupled to nitrite reduction. Nitrous oxide and dinitrogen were the only detectable end products. In pure cultures of N. eutropha and mixed cultures of N. eutropha and Enterobacter aerogenes, ammonium and nitrite disappeared slowly at a molar ratio of about one when oxygen was absent. However, under these conditions cell growth was not measurable.

Key words

Nitrosomonas Lithotrophic and mixotrophic nitrification Oxygen limitation Aerobic and anaerobic denitrification Nitrous oxide Dinitrogen Hydroxylamine Hydrogen Ammonium 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eberhard Bock
    • 1
  • Ingo Schmidt
    • 1
  • Ralf Stüven
    • 1
  • Dirk Zart
    • 1
  1. 1.Abteilung MikrobiologieInstitut für Allgemeine Botanik der Universität HamburgHamburgGermany

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