Food legumes are extensively grown in Ethiopia and constitute a major part of the diet of rural and urban populations.
In Ethiopia, research on grain legumes has concentrated mainly on improving yields through selection, breeding, and the use of improved agronomic practices.
Although most microbes perform just one step in the nitrogen cycle – converting nitrogen gas (N could perform two types of reactions: respiratory ammonification and denitrification.
Respiratory ammonification retains nitrogen in an ecosystem as ammonium in the soil or water, while denitrification sends nitrogen on a path back to the atmosphere as a gas.
By surveying various regions of the world ocean, Wrigley scientists found that these bacteria are actually a prominent part of ocean ecosystems.
As a result, scientists worldwide now have a new paradigm for understanding nitrogen in the ocean – and thus a better understanding of the ocean’s capability for absorbing carbon into the deep, potentially mitigating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and climate changes on the Earth as a whole.
Although carbon is relatively abundant, there is only so much usable nitrogen in the upper ocean to support phytoplankton growth and aid in this important process.
This makes marine nitrogen a “limiting” component controlling the rate at which oceans can reduce Earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
“Our findings are important because they challenge a long-held belief that the ratio of carbon to nitrogen drives pathway selection, and will help researchers to better predict nutrient cycling in environments where oxygen is in support supply,” Vuono said.
This study was funded by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), the Desert Research Institute postdoctoral research fellowship program, Ecosystems and Networks Integrated with Genes and Molecular Assemblies (ENIGMA), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research).