Nitrogen cycle related microbes【窒素循環に関わる微生物】

Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for all of us. It is a part of meat (proteins) and some vitamins. Nitrogen is transformed from atmospheric nitrogen gas (N2) to important nutrients (such as ammonium and nitrate) in soils and plants. Some of these nutrients in soils are used by soil microbes and transformed back to N2 or other gases.







These processes are known as nitrogen cycle and as I have already described, many of the processes are controlled by soil microbes. Thus, we need to study them more.

The diagram may look very complicated, but it is a simple version of the nitrogen cycle. The word "N" means nitrogen and as we can see, N can have different chemical forms.

On each arrow, you can see an italic word (e.g., nifH, norB). These are names of genes in charge of the processes. We have to study each gene to understand the nitrogen cycle fully.

Also, each process is performed by hundreds of thousands of microbes (but not all of the microbes in soils). Therefore, understanding or even evaluating the nitrogen cycle in soils is so hard.

We aim to understand the balance between the genes particularly in places such as wastelands or contaminated lands because then we can understand how we efficiently recover good soils and plants on those sites.