Nitrogen bacteria are any bacteria that use nitrogen compounds in their metabolic process.While all of these bacteria use electrons from nitrogen compounds to create organic compounds, they can have very different effects on their ecosystem depending on what compounds they use.
However, iron bacteria are not the only organisms that use metal ions as an energy source for chemosynthesis.
Other types of bacteria use arsenic, manganese, or even uranium as sources of electrons for their electron transport chains!
Nitrogen bacteria can usually be divided into three classes:1.
Nitrifying bacteria: Nitrifying bacteria grow in soils that contain ammonia.
After having its electrons passed through the electron transport chain, the chemical fuel source emerges in a different form.
Hydrogen sulfide gas, for example, is converted into solid elemental sulfur plus water.
The bacteria in that equation consumes hydrogen sulfide gas (12HS), and then produces solid, elemental sulfur as a waste product (12S).
Some bacteria that use chemosynthesis use elemental sulfur itself, or more complex sulfur compounds as fuel sources, instead of hydrogen sulfide.
The term “chemosynthesis” comes from the root words “chemo” for “chemical” and “synthesis” for “to make.” Its function is similar to that of photosynthesis, which also turns inorganic matter into organic matter – but uses the energy of sunlight, instead of chemical energy to do so.
Today chemosynthesis is used by microbes such as bacteria and archaea.