Dictionary > Nitrification

Nitrification

Definition
noun
A process wherein a nitro group is added to an organic compound
Supplement
Nitrification is a process where a nitro group is added to an organic compound or substituted for another group in an organic compound. It is the oxidation of ammonium compounds in dead organic material into nitrates and nitrites by soil bacteria (making nitrogen available to plants). It also pertains to the conversion of nitrogen from inorganic to organic by nitrate bacteria, which effectively recycles the substance so that it can be used again by plants via root uptake.
Natural nitrification is a biological occurrence performed by nitrifying bacteria. Nitrifying bacteria are microbes that are capable of converting ammonium into nitrate especially through the process of nitrification. Examples of nitrifying bacteria include species of the genera Nitrosomonas (i.e. Gram-negative short to long rods), Nitrosococcus (i.e. large motile cocci), Nitrobacter (i.e. short rods with membrane system arranged as a polar cap), and Nitrococcus (i.e. large cocci with a membrane system randomly arranged in tubes).
Nitrification occurs as follows:

  • 2 NH4+ + 3 O2 → 2 NO2− + 2 H2O + 4 H+
  • 2 NO2− + O2 → 2 NO3
  • NH3 + O2→ NO2− + 3H+ + 2e−
  • NO2− + H2O → NO3− + 2H+ + 2e−

See also:

  • nitrifying bacterium


  • You will also like...

    Early Mammals on Earth
    Early Mammals on Earth

    The Earth's ecosphere was rapidly changing and throwing up a wide range of ecological niches that new adaptive organisms..

    Photosynthesis and respiration
    Plant Metabolism

    Plants are responsible for incredible feats of molecular transformation. Plant processes, such as photosynthesis, photop..

    Fossil trilobite imprint in the sediment
    Insects

    There are more species of insects than any other species combined. This surely illustrates that insects have the selecti..

    Population Regulation in an Ecosystem
    Population Regulation in an Ecosystem

    With regard to the population size of a species and what factors may affect them, two factors have been defined. They ar..

    Energy pyramid
    Freshwater Community Energy Relationships – Producers & Consumers

    This tutorial looks at the relationship between organisms. It also explores how energy is passed on in the food chain an..

    An artistic depiction of Dunkleosteus fish
    Fish

    The sea was teeming with life. Eventually, through reproduction and continued variation, fish came about. There are over..