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The difference between nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria.

April 06, 2022 1 min read

Two distinct classifications of microorganisms, specifically those responsible for nitrification and denitrification respectively, are crucial players in the complex nitrogen cycle.

This intricate process involves the transformational exchange between various forms of elemental nitrogen within our environment.

  • The transformation of ammonia (NH3) and ammonium (NH4+) into nitrite (NO2-) followed by nitrate(NO3-) is a process referred to as nitrification, assigned to the function of specialized bacteria known as nitrifying bacteria.

There are two stages in this process carried out independently but equally essential; each stage requires unique bacterial species for action.

  • The first phase employs ammonia-oxidizing bacteria(AOB), responsible for changing NH_3into NO _2-.
  • In contrast, the second uses different creatures classified under Nitrite -Oxidizing Bacteria(NO_B)to break down NO_ 2- into Nitrate(No `sub` 8~ ).

In contrast to nitrifying bacteria, denitrifying microorganisms play a role in transforming nitrate into nitrogen gas (N2), which is then released into the air.

This event occurs under anaerobic circumstances where oxygen is not present and it's referred to as denitrification.

Denitricifers employ nitrate as an electron acceptor converting this molecule subsequently into nitrogen gas hence its liberation from Earth's surface with ease.

To sum up, certain bacteria known as nitrifying microbes perform the crucial task of transforming ammonia and ammonium into a substance called nitrate.

On the flip side, denitrifying microorganisms are responsible for reversing this process by converting nitrate back to its original form - nitrogen gas.