Nitrosomonas is a genus comprising Gram-negative, rod-shaped, and chemoautotrophic bacteria.[2]

Scientific classification


N. aestuarii
N. communis
N. europaea
N. eutropha
N. halophila
N. marina
N. nitrosa
N. oligotropha
N. stercoris[1]
N. ureae

This organism oxidizes ammonia into nitrite as a metabolic process, known as nitritation (a step of nitrification). Nitrosomonas are useful in a polluted water and waste treatment technique known as bioremediation. They are important in the nitrogen cycle as they increase the bioavailability of nitrogen to plants whilst limiting carbon fixation.[2] The genus is found in soil, freshwater, and on building surfaces, especially in areas that contains high levels of nitrogen compounds.

Nitrosomonas thrive in a pH range of 6.0–9.0, and a temperature range of 20–30 °C (68–86 °F). Most species are motile with a flagellum located in the polar region of the bacillus.

The organism has power-generating membranes, which form long, thin tubes inside the cell. These use electrons from the oxidation of ammonia to produce energy.[2] It obtains the carbon it requires from the atmosphere via carbon fixation, which converts gaseous carbon dioxide into carbon bound in organic molecules.

Unlike plants, which fix carbon into sugars through energy gained through the process of photosynthesis, Nitrosomonas use energy gained through the oxidation of ammonia to fix gaseous carbon dioxide into organic molecules. Nitrosomonas must consume large amounts of ammonia before cell division can occur, and the process of cell division may take up to several days. This microbe is photophobic, and will generate a biofilm matrix, or form clumps with other microbes, to avoid light.[2]

The species Nitrosomonas europaea has been identified as being able to degrade a variety of halogenated compounds including trichloroethylene, benzene, and vinyl chloride.[3] Some Nitrosomonas species possess the enzyme urease,[citation needed] which catalyzes the conversion of the urea into ammonia and carbon dioxide. N. europaea, as well as populations of soil-dwelling ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), have been shown to assimilate the carbon dioxide released by the reaction to make biomass via the Calvin cycle, and harvest energy by oxidizing ammonia (the other product of urease) to nitrite. This feature may explain enhanced growth of AOB in the presence of urea in acidic environments.[4]

Some sources regard Nitrobacteraceae to be the family of the genus Nicosomonas.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Nakagawa, T; Takahashi, R (2015). "Nitrosomonas stercoris sp. nov., a Chemoautotrophic Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacterium Tolerant of High Ammonium Isolated from Composted Cattle Manure". Microbes and Environments. 30 (3): 221–7. doi:10.1264/jsme2.ME15072. PMC 4567560. PMID 26156554.
  2. ^ a b c d "Nitrosomonas - microbewiki".
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-03. Retrieved 2008-10-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Marsh, K. L., G. K. Sims, and R. L. Mulvaney. 2005. Availability of urea to autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria as related to the fate of 14C- and 15N-labeled urea added to soil. Biol. Fert. Soil. 42:137-145.
  • George M. Garrity: Bergey's manual of systematic bacteriology. 2. Auflage. Springer, New York, 2005, Vol. 2: The Proteobacteria Part C: The Alpha-, Beta-, Delta-, and Epsilonproteobacteria ISBN 0-387-24145-0
  • Winogradsky, S. 1892. Contributions à la morphologie des organismes de la nitrification. Archives des Sciences Biologiques (St. Petersbourg). 1:86-137.