Plant and Soil

, Volume 81, Issue 3, pp 421–428 | Cite as

Prevalence of nitrous oxide reducing capacity in denitrifiers from a variety of habitats

  • G. U. Okereke


A total of 81 strains isolated by T. N. Gamble from soils from eight countries, fresh water lake sediments and nitrified poultry manure were examined for their ability to grow on N2O as their electron acceptor, as well as for their tendency to produce N2O from NO 3 in the absence and presence of acetylene. Seventy-seven of the 81 strains were confirmed as denitrifiers. Fifty-nine of the 77 strains grew on N2O, while 12 strains produced N2O but could not utilize it. Six strains reduced NO 3 to N2 but could not grow on N2O, suggesting that even if N2O is always an intermediate product of denitrification, it is not always a freely diffusible intermediate. The organisms, however, would consume N2O that accumulated early in growth and accumulated N2O in the presence of acetylene. Thus the total number of N2O users was 65 strains or 83% of the total tested. This implies that the N2O reducing capacity of denitrifiers occur widely in nature. A high proportion ofPseudomonas fluorescens biotype II reduced N2O. The accumulation of N2O from NO 3 in the presence of acetylene provides strong evidence that N2O is generally an intermediate in denitrification as well as provides additional support for the usefulness of this chemical as a general inhibitor of N2O reduction.

Key words

Acetylene inhibition Denitrifiers Electron acceptor Incubation Nitrate Nitrous oxide Nitrogen 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. U. Okereke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Crop and Soil ScienceMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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