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The microbial nitrogen cycle

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194124 Year: Pages: 174 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-412-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Microbiology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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Abstract

Nitrogen is an essential element in biological systems, and one that often limits production in both aquatic and terrestrial systems. Due to its requirement in biological macromolecules, its acquisition and cycling have the potential to structure microbial communities, as well as to control productivity on the ecosystem scale. In addition, its versatile redox chemistry is the basis of complex biogeochemical transformations that control the inventory of fixed nitrogen, both in local environments and over geological time. Although many of the pathways in the microbial nitrogen cycle were described more than a century ago, additional fundamental pathways have been discovered only recently. These findings imply that we still have much to learn about the microbial nitrogen cycle, the organisms responsible for it, and their interactions in natural and human environments. Progress in nitrogen cycle research has been facilitated by recent rapid technological advances, especially in genomics and isotopic approaches. In this Research Topic, we reviewed the leading edge of nitrogen cycle research based on these approaches, as well as by exploring microbial processes in modern ecosystems.

Geomicrobes: Life in Terrestrial Deep Subsurface

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451791 Year: Pages: 141 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-179-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Microbiology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-08-28 14:01:09
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The deep subsurface is, in addition to space, one of the last unknown frontiers to human kind. A significant part of life on Earth resides in the deep subsurface, hiding great potential of microbial life of which we know only little. The conditions in the deep terrestrial subsurface are thought to resemble those of early Earth, which makes this environment an analog for studying early life in addition to possible extraterrestrial life in ultra-extreme conditions. Early microorganisms played a great role in shaping the conditions on the young Earth. Even today deep subsurface microorganisms interact with their geological environment transforming the conditions in the groundwater and on rock surfaces. Essential elements for life are richly present but in difficultly accessible form. The elements driving the microbial deep life is still not completely identified. Most of the microorganisms detected by novel molecular techniques still lack cultured representatives. Nevertheless, using modern sequencing techniques and bioinformatics the functional roles of these microorganisms are being revealed. We are starting to see the differences and similarities between the life in the deep subsurface and surface domains. We may even begin to see the function of evolution by comparing deep life to life closer to the surface of Earth. Deep life consists of organisms from all known domains of life. This Research Topic reveals some of the rich diversity and functional properties of the great biomass residing in the deep dark subsurface.

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