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Science. 2006 Dec 15;314(5806):1783-6.

Nitrogen fixation at 92 degrees C by a hydrothermal vent archaeon.

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  • 1School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. mausmi@alum.mit.edu

Abstract

A methanogenic archaeon isolated from deep-sea hydrothermal vent fluid was found to reduce N(2) to NH(3) at up to 92 degrees C, which is 28 degrees C higher than the current upper temperature limit of biological nitrogen fixation. The 16S ribosomal RNA gene of the hyperthermophilic nitrogen fixer, designated FS406-22, was 99% similar to that of non-nitrogen fixing Methanocaldococcus jannaschii DSM 2661. At its optimal growth temperature of 90 degrees C, FS406-22 incorporated (15)N(2) and expressed nifH messenger RNA. This increase in the temperature limit of nitrogen fixation could reveal a broader range of conditions for life in the subseafloor biosphere and other nitrogen-limited ecosystems than previously estimated.

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PMID:
17170307
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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