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Elemental nitrogen oxidation – A new bacterial process in the nitrogen cycle

Final Report Summary - ELNOX (Elemental nitrogen oxidation – A new bacterial process in the nitrogen cycle)

A marine bacterium called Pseudovibrio that often occurs in symbiosis with animals especially sponges was investigated in detail. It was found that this bacterium is very unusual, because it can live on much more different substances than expected and at much lower concentrations than other marine bacteria. In addition this bacterium can interact with other bacteria or with higher organisms in a beneficial or harmful way by secreting an abundance of compounds, which interact with the chemical environment and other organisms, e.g. antibiotics, substances that bind iron, vitamins or substances that interact with the immune system. The bacterium reacts very strongly when confronted with a limitation of phosphate in it’s surrounding and changes the composition of secreted substances profoundly. This study may help us to understand, how bacteria like Pseudovibrio shape the chemical composition of the Ocean and interact with other marine organisms.