Description & Signifigance
Nitrobacter winogradsky can be found living in many soils, natural stones as well as both freshwater and saltwater. They have many differing rod-shaped cells that divide through polar swelling. Along with having two membranes, it has flagella and contains an asymmetrical membrane system, carboxysomes along with intracellular inclusion bodies. It can grow in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions with nitrate as its electron acceptor during anoxic conditions. Heterotrophic growth in this bacteria is not very efficient and all KREB cycle acids are present. It is important to sequence the genome of Nitrobacter winogradskyi to understand the relationship between itself and other bacteria involved in the nitrogen cycle in order to improve nitrogen management.
Nitrobacter winogradskyi has a circular DNA chromosome with a length of 3,402,093 bp encoding 3,143 predicted proteins. The genome is made up of around 62% GC pairs. 2566 were assigned a role in categories.
Cell Structure and Metabolism
Nitrobacter winogradskyi are gram-negative bacteria that play a key role in the nitrogen cycle by converting nitrite to nitrate. Nitrite is the end product of ammonium oxidation during the nitrification process of the nitrogen cycle. It derives its energy through nitrite oxidation and carbon dioxide fixation, which it can do simultaneously, thus acting as a chemolithoautotroph. In the absence of nitrite, it uses solely carbon sources and acts as a chemoorganoheterotroph. It uses nitrate as an electron acceptor producing nitrite, nitric oxide, and nitrous oxide. When oxygen is present it oxidizes nitrite to nitrate. It is capable of using nitric oxide and a substrate to produce NADH.
Application to Biotechnology
Current research has been done on the genome sequence of Nitrobacter winogradsky in order to better understand its role in the nitrogen cycle. It was found that 10% of the genome codes for genes involved in transport and secretion. They hope that its genome will serve as a reference to study the mechanism which controls nitrite oxidation and its interaction with other processes.
Current research is being done on how nitrifying bacteria such as Nitrobacter can be used for ammonium removal of wastewater effluents. In this study, it was shown that using biofilms including Nitrobacter winogradskyi allowed for significant removal of nitrogen in a short period of time from wastewater effluents. This could be lead to a promising and inexpensive way of treating wastewater for bioremediation of effluents.
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