Mitigating release of the potent greenhouse gas N2O from the nitrogen cycle: could enzymic regulation hold the key?

David Richardson, Heather Felgate, Nick Watmough, Andrew Thomson, Elizabeth Baggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

301 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When faced with a shortage of oxygen, many bacterial species use nitrate to support respiration via the process of denitrification. This takes place extensively in nitrogen-rich soils and generates the gaseous products nitric oxide (NO), nitrous oxide (N(2)O) and dinitrogen (N(2)). The denitrifying bacteria protect themselves from the endogenous cytotoxic NO produced by converting it to N(2)O, which can be released into the atmosphere. However, N(2)O is a potent greenhouse gas and hence the activity of the enzyme that breaks down N(2)O has a crucial role in restricting its atmospheric levels. Here, we review the current understanding of the process by which N(2)O is produced and destroyed and discuss the potential for feeding this into new approaches for combating N(2)O release.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-397
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Volume27
Issue number7
Early online date3 Jun 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

Keywords

  • nitric-oxide reductase
  • CU-Z cluster
  • Paracoccus-denitrificans
  • nitrate reductase
  • thiosphaera-pantotropha
  • Fusarium-Oxysporum
  • Eschericgia-Coli
  • catalytic center
  • mole fraction
  • wetland soils

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