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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Alphaproteobacteria
Order: Rhizobiales
Family: Bradyrhizobiaceae
Genus: Nitrobacter
Winogradsky 1892

N. alkalicus
N. hamburgensis
N. vulgaris
N. winogradskyi

Nitrobacter is a genus of mostly rod-shaped, gram-negative, and chemoautotrophic bacteria.[1]

Nitrobacter plays an important role in the nitrogen cycle by oxidizing nitrite into nitrate in soil. Unlike plants, where electron transfer in photosynthesis provides the energy for carbon fixation, Nitrobacter uses energy from the oxidation of nitrite ions, NO2, into nitrate ions, NO3, to fulfill their energy needs. Nitrobacter fixes carbon dioxide via the Calvin cycle for their carbon requirements.[1]

Nitrobacter have an optimum pH between 7.3 and 7.5, and will die in temperatures exceeding 120°F (49°C) or below 32°F (0°C).[1]

Some sources regard Nitrobacteraceae to be the family of the genus Nitrobacter. Species in the genus Nitrobacter include Nitrobacter winogradskyi, Nitrobacter hamburgensis, Nitrobacter vulgaris and Nitrobacter alkalicus.[2] According to Grundmann, Nitrobacter seem to grow optimally at 38°C and at a pH of 7.9, but Holt states that Nitrobacter grow optimally at 28°C and grows within a pH range of 5.8 -8.5 and has an pH optima between 7.6 and 7.8.[2][3] Nitrobacter belongs to the α-subclass of the Proteobacteria.[3][4]

Nitrobacter may either be rod shaped, pear-shaped or pleomorphic. Cells normally reproduce by budding (Holt, 1993). Carboxysomes which aid carbon fixation are found in lithoautotrophically and mixotrophically grown cells. Additional energy conserving inclusions are PHB granules and polyphosphates. When both nitrite and organic substances are present, cells can exhibit biphasic growth, first the nitrite is used and after a lag phase, organic matter is oxidized. Chemoorganotrophic growth is slow and unbalanced thus more poly-β- hydroxybutyrate granules are seen that distort the shape and size of the cells.

Nitrobacter play an essential role in aquaponics. Nitrosomonas bacteria first convert ammonia into nitrites. Nitrobacter convert the nitrites into nitrates, which are readily absorbed by the plants.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html
  2. ^ a b Holt, John G.; Hendricks Bergey, David (1993). R.S. Breed, ed. Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology (9th ed.). USA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. ISBN 0-683-00603-7. 
  3. ^ a b Grundmann, GL; Neyra, M; Normand, P (2000). "High-resolution phylogenetic analysis of NO2--oxidizing Nitrobacter species using the rrs-rrl IGS sequence and rrl genes.". International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 50 (Pt 5): 1893–8. doi:10.1099/00207713-50-5-1893. PMID 11034501. 
  4. ^ Grunditz, C; Dalhammar, G (2001). "Development of nitrification inhibition assays using pure cultures of Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter.". Water research 35 (2): 433–40. doi:10.1016/S0043-1354(00)00312-2. PMID 11228996. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrobacter — Please support Wikipedia.
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69 news items

Washington Post
Mon, 11 May 2015 12:50:13 -0700

The bacteria include two types of microbes, nitrosomonas and nitrobacter. Nitrosomonas oxidizes otherwise harmful ammonia (plentiful in the Chesapeake's black muck) into nitrites; then the nitrobacter converts those nitrites into nitrates, which ...

Powell River Peak

Powell River Peak
Wed, 15 Apr 2015 09:07:30 -0700

Nitrifying bacteria, Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter, are a commonly used species in aquaponics. These bacteria work together to oxidize the ammonia into nitrite and then nitrite to nitrate which is usable by plants as their main food supply. The plants ...

Coffs Coast Advocate

Coffs Coast Advocate
Tue, 04 Nov 2014 12:32:23 -0800

We used uv sterilisation developed by our business to destroy these pathogens however, also destroys beneficial bacteria of Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter and other good bugs required in this methodology. www.1aquaponics.com.au used feed trials of rabbit ...
Pollution Solutions
Wed, 05 Feb 2014 02:05:24 -0800

This is the oxidative process in which ammonia is first converted into nitrite (NO2) by naturally occurring Nitrosospira and Nitrosomonas bacteria in the water, before further bacterial species Nitrospira and Nitrobacter convert the nitrite into ...


Tue, 11 Feb 2014 23:39:41 -0800

The ammonium-to-nitrate conversion process is done by bacteria called Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter." Sulfate, incidentally, can be leached out of soil by water, just like nitrogen and (to a lesser extent) phosphate. Making soil sulfur available. How ...

National Geographic

National Geographic
Fri, 23 Aug 2013 07:55:05 -0700

Here are a few numbers about DNA–some big ones, and then some very small ones. The human genome contains about 3.2 billion base pairs. Last year, scientists at the University of Leceister printed the sequence out in 130 massive reference-book-sized ...

IEEE Spectrum

IEEE Spectrum
Tue, 30 Jul 2013 15:22:40 -0700

Those nitrites are lunch for their cousins, Nitrobacter, which convert the nitrites to nitrates, food for the plants that Haider's team plans to grow here starting by the middle of August. The moving bed biofilter (below), where Nitrosomonas and ...


Thu, 25 Apr 2013 19:16:14 -0700

You till (or don't till), manage drainage and apply lime or fertilizer to grow higher yielding crops. But that's the result, not the motivation. The reason you take those steps is to make your soil healthier by improving the habitat for microorganisms ...

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