Biological Nitrogen Fixation

Authored by: Richa Anand

Handbook of Soil Sciences Properties and Processes

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  November  2011

Print ISBN: 9781439803059
eBook ISBN: 9781439803066
Adobe ISBN:


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Nitrogen is abundant in the atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere of the earth. However, 99% of nitrogen is in the form of dinitrogen, which is inert and cannot be used by most living organisms. In order for living cells to use it for synthesis of vital bioorganic molecules like proteins, nucleic acids, and vitamins, molecular nitrogen (dinitrogen) has to be in its reduced or fixed form. Dinitrogen fixation, the process by which dinitrogen is reduced to ammonia, is therefore a very important process for the sustenance of life.

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