The Anammox Amendment

The Anammox Amendment

A knowledge gap in the Nitrogen Cycle was first identified in 1932.

In 1932, it was reported that dinitrogen gas was generated via an unknown mechanism during fermentation in the sediments of Lake Mendota, Wisconsin, USA.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anammox

From the 1940s to the 1970s, several studies indicated that a microbe was missing from nature that could anaerobically oxidize ammonium, with nitrate or nitrite, to dinitrogen gas and that the nitrogen cycle thus contained more reactions than was known at that time.

Anaerobic Ammonium-Oxidizing Bacteria:
Unique Microorganisms with Exceptional Properties
Laura van Niftrik and Mike S. M. Jetten
Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. September 2012 vol. 76 no. 3 585-596
http://mmbr.asm.org/content/76/3/585.full.pdf+html

Therefore, it was “a great surprise” when this knowledge gap was finally filled in 1999 by the discovery of the Anammox bacteria.

Until now, bacteria capable of anaerobically oxidizing ammonia had never been found and were known as “lithotrophs missing from nature”.

Here we report the discovery of this missing lithotroph and its identification as a new, autotrophic member of the order Planctomycetales, one of the major distinct divisions of the Bacteria.

The new planctomycete grows extremely slowly, dividing only once every two weeks.

At present, it cannot be cultivated by conventional microbiological techniques.

The identification of this bacterium as the one responsible for anaerobic oxidation of ammonia makes an important contribution to the problem of unculturability.

Missing Lithotroph Identified As New Planctomycete
Marc Strous, John A. Fuerst, Evelien H. M. Kramer, Susanne Logemann, Gerard Muyzer, Katinka T. van de Pas-Schoonen, Richard Webb, J. Gijs Kuenen & Mike S. M. Jetten
Nature 400, 446-449 – 29 July 1999
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v400/n6743/full/400446a0.html

Anammox, an abbreviation for ANaerobic AMMonium OXidation, is a globally important microbial process of the nitrogen cycle.

The bacteria mediating this process were identified in 1999, and at the time were a great surprise for the scientific community.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anammox

The aftershocks of this discovery are still rippling through the Settled Science community.

Wikipedia, for example, cannot bring itself to directly mention the Anammox bacteria in the context of the Nitrogen Cycle.

Instead, Wikipedia refers to ‘a biological process’ and ‘this “anammox” chemical reaction’ and then singularly fails to provide a link to its own page that describes the Anammox bacteria.

Wikipedia Anammox Amendment

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_cycle

The problem for the Settled Scientists is that the original knowledge gap has turned out to be a yawning chasm in the mainstream Nitrogen Cycle because the Anammox bacteria is now deemed to “be responsible for 30-50% of the dinitrogen gas produced in the oceans.”

Globally, this process may be responsible for 30-50% of the dinitrogen gas produced in the oceans.

It is thus a major sink for fixed nitrogen and so limits oceanic primary productivity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anammox

This discovery has major consequences, as it alters the entire contribution of oceans to the nitrogen balance.

The Nitrogen Cycle
Lenntech BV – Delft
http://www.lenntech.com/nitrogen-cycle.htm

Wikipedia still hasn’t found the courage to update it’s Nitrogen Cycle diagrams.

Marine_Nitrogen_Cycle

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_cycle

Intriguingly, the Anammox bacteria presents many challenges to Settled Science.

Firstly, Anammox bacteria produces the “rock fuel” hydrazine.

An unusual characteristic of anammox metabolism is the production of the metabolic intermediate hydrazine, which is one of the strongest reducing agents known in biological systems.

It is used as rocket fuel and in the manufacture of explosives and pesticides.

MicrobeWiki – Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio
https://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Anammox

Secondly, Anammox bacteria have been found to be a compartmentalized bacterium.

The reaction mechanism is triggered by a newly discovered bacterium, called Brocadia anammoxidans.

This appears to be a compartmentalized bacterium; within the cell membrane two compartments can be found which are also surrounded by a membrane, a very rare phenomenon.

Intermediate products of the reaction included hydroxylamine, and toxic hydrazine compounds.

The bacterial membranes were found to consists of badly permeable membranes, which are thought to function as a barrier for hydrazines produced within the cell.

The Nitrogen Cycle
Lenntech BV – Delft
http://www.lenntech.com/nitrogen-cycle.htm

Thirdly, they “share features with all three domains of life, Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya”.

Anammox bacteria do not conform to the typical characteristics of bacteria but instead share features with all three domains of life, Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya, making them extremely interesting from an evolutionary perspective.

Anaerobic Ammonium-Oxidizing Bacteria:
Unique Microorganisms with Exceptional Properties
Laura van Niftrik and Mike S. M. Jetten
Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. September 2012 vol. 76 no. 3 585-596
http://mmbr.asm.org/content/76/3/585.full.pdf+html

Domain

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_%28biology%29

However, the biggest problem for the Settled Science faithful is that the Anammox bacteria has the potential to invalidate so many carefully crafted narratives because it’s being discovered in so many different environments.

Anammox bacteria can grow at temperatures ranging from -2 to 43 °C and pH levels of 6.7 to 8.3; optimal pH is 8, while optimal temperature varies according to species.

These bacteria grow slowly, with a doubling time ranging from 10 days to 2 weeks, and possess physiological adaptations unlike what would be normally expected of prokaryotes.

MicrobeWiki – Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio
https://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Anammox

Since their discovery in the 1990s, anammox bacteria have been found in many different environments, such as wastewater treatment plants, lakes, marine suboxic zones, and coastal sediments.

Anammox bacteria are key players in the nitrogen cycle, where they were discovered to be a major source of dinitrogen gas on a global scale.

The contribution of anammox bacteria has been investigated in all major oxygen minimum zones (OMZ) in the ocean (Black Sea, Chilean and Peruvian OMZ, Namibian OMZ, and Arabian Sea) that contribute significantly to the loss of fixed nitrogen from the ocean.

In all those studies, the anammox process was the major pathway for the loss of fixed nitrogen, as was documented by stable isotope measurements, ladderane lipids, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and quantitative PCR (qPCR) of functional genes.

Anaerobic Ammonium-Oxidizing Bacteria:
Unique Microorganisms with Exceptional Properties
Laura van Niftrik and Mike S. M. Jetten
Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. September 2012 vol. 76 no. 3 585-596
http://mmbr.asm.org/content/76/3/585.full.pdf+html

There are three genera of anammox bacteria found so far in different environmental habitats
such as marine sediments, water columns, arctic sea ice, subtropical mangrove sediments and fresh water.

Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation (Anammox)
A new sink in the marine nitrogen cycle
Martin Hertach – Tutor: Prof. Bernhard Wehrli
http://www.up.ethz.ch/education/term_paper/termpaper_hs07/HERTACH_rev_termpaper_hs07.pdf

Therefore, whenever you’re reading some Settled Science it’s worth remembering that the Anammox bacteria was only discovered in 1999.

This is particularly important in the Earth Sciences where Settled Scientists are ambivalent about applying an Anammox Amendment.

Advertisements
Gallery | This entry was posted in Dendrochronology, Earth, Geology, Glaciology, Greenland, Science. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Anammox Amendment

  1. Oh dear, another “issue”…….never ending story

  2. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Settled science is a dreadful phrase.

  3. Pingback: Frozen Fauna | MalagaBay

  4. Pingback: The Anammox Amendment | ajmarciniak

  5. Pingback: Ammonium: 2 – The Aurora Ring | MalagaBay

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s