Nitrogen fixers

Nitrogen is important for all organisms since it is one of the components of proteins and nucleic acids (DNA).
Most living species cannot directly absorb nitrogen from the atmosphere, of which this gas is the largest component (78%). Only some bacteria can transform gaseous nitrogen into compounds that can be absorbed by the other living beings (especially vegetal organisms) through a series of metabolic reactions that are jointly called “nitrogen fixation”. Nitrogen, included in more complex molecules, such as ammonia and nitrates, is part of the food chain. The most important nitrogen-fixing organisms are cyanobacteria, also known as blue algae, which live in water. On the mainland, this function is mainly served by the Azotobacter that live son earth and by the Rhizobium that lives in symbiosis in the roots of the plants of the genus Leguminosae (bean, lentil and clover).

Special reports

  • 3 November 2014

    Conan the bacterium

    Have you ever leafed through the pages of a book of Guinness World Records? You can find records of all…

    5 February 2010

    Extreme bacteria

    Researchers from the Cnr with Bruno D’Argento and...

    4 March 2010

    Biotechnological cleaners

    In today’s society, more than 80% of human activities are...

  • 4 April 2013

    Carbon (14C) dating method

    The radiocarbon dating method...

    18 December 2021

    The Christmas Star Tradition

    Let's discover together stories and legends about the Christmas Star...

    15 September 2021

    Can you be intelligent without a brain?

    Can you be intelligent without a brain? The answer is "in a certain sense, yes" and this is demonstrated by…

  • 26 July 2021

    Japanese beetles and other alien species

    There is a beetle that has been invading the Italian countryside and cities for some time now, a small insect…

    16 June 2021

    A turtle’s life

    World Sea Turtle Day is held on 16 June. First established in 2008, the day is now supported by Sea…

    10 June 2021

    The world below

    Journey to the Centre of the Earth is a famous science fiction novel written by the great Jules Verne in…

  • 3 November 2014

    Conan the bacterium

    Have you ever leafed through the pages of a book of Guinness World Records? You can find records of all…

  • 5 February 2010

    Extreme bacteria

    Researchers from the Cnr with Bruno D’Argento and...

  • 4 March 2010

    Biotechnological cleaners

    In today’s society, more than 80% of human activities are...

From the Multimedia section

Facts