Understanding the process of Nitrogen – Nitrogen is an important nutrient in life; it’s one of those components in amino acids, and thus occurs in proteins and is an important part of all living organisms. Although nitrogen is abundant in the Earth’s atmosphere (making up about 78 percent of the air), atmospheric nitrogen is very stable, because of the triple bond between its atoms. So as to be employed by living organisms, nitrogen has to be processed into forms usable in biological processes, through a procedure called fixation.
The bacteria that fix nitrogen can execute their process. Since oxygen and nitrogen occur together in the air, these organisms have evolved mechanisms to make an oxygen-poor environment, like using up the remaining oxygen through respiration or utilizing specific proteins to bind to the oxygen. Nitrogen fixing plants create a place in their own root system where these bacteria can flourish.
The process of nitrogen fixation – Nitrogen fixers are plants that have developed the capacity to fix nitrogen, through a symbiotic relationship with anaerobic bacteria that reside in particular nodules on the plant’s roots. The atmospheric nitrogen is processed to ammonia, which is then able to be applied as a building block in larger molecules such as amino acids or nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA, which then build proteins and make life possible.