Nitrogen Fixation


Nitrogen fixation is the process by which nitrogen in the atmosphere is converted into a more active form that can be used by plants. Symbiotic biological nitrogen fixation occurs in leguminous and nonleguminous plants, and nitrogen is also fixed biologically by freeā€living and associative nitrogen fixers.

Keywords: fixation; mechanism; microorganisms; nodulation; control

Further Reading

Burris RH (1991) Nitrogenases. Journal of Biological Chemistry 266: 9339–9342.

Carnahan JE, Mortenson LE, Mower HF and Castle JE (1960) Nitrogen fixation in cell‐free extracts of Clostridium pasteurianum. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 44: 520–535.

Christiansen J, Dean DR and Seefeldt LC (2001) Mechanistic features of the MO‐containing nitrogenase. Annual Review of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology 52: 269–295.

Durant MC (2002) An atomic‐level mechanism for molybdenum nitrogenase. Part 1. Reduction of dinitrogen. Part 2. Proton reduction, inhibition of dinitrogen reduction by dihydrogen, and the HD formation reaction. Biochemistry 41: 13934–13955.

Einsle O, Tezcan FA, Andrade SLA, (2002) Nitrogenase MoFe‐protein at 1.16 A resolution: a central ligand in FeMo‐cofactor. Science 297: 1696–1700.

Fred EB, Baldwin IL and McCoy E (1932) Root Nodule Bacteria and Leguminous Plants, pp. 1–343. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.

Hardy RWF, Bottomley F and Burns RC (eds) (1979) A Treatise on Dinitrogen Fixation, pp. 1–812. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Kim J and Rees DC (1992) Structural models for the metal centers in the nitrogenase molybdenum–iron protein. Science 257: 1677–1682.

Kim J and Rees DC (1992) Crystallographic structure and functional implications of the nitrogenase molybdenum–iron protein from Azotobacter vinelandii. Nature 360: 553–560.

Postgate JR (1983) The Fundamentals of Nitrogen Fixation, pp. 1–252. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Stacey G, Burris RH and Evans HJ (eds) (1992) Biological Nitrogen Fixation, pp. 1–943. New York: Chapman & Hall.

Virtanen AI (1938) Cattle Fodder and Human Nutrition, pp. 1–108. London: Cambridge University Press.

Wilson PW (1940) The Biochemistry of Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation, pp. 1–302. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.

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How to Cite close
Burris, Robert H(Mar 2004) Nitrogen Fixation. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0000626]