– Nandini Das
Anammox is an abbreviation for anaerobic ammonium
oxidation, is a globally important microbial process of the nitrogen cycle.
Nitrite and Ammonium ions are converted directly into
diatomic nitrogen and water in anaerobic conditions.
- Globally, this
process may be responsible for 30-50% of the N2 gas produced
in the oceans, it is the thus a major sink for fixed nitrogen.
- The bacteria
that perform the anammox process belong to the bacterial phylum Plancomycetes.
- Currently, five
anammox genera have been discovered: Bracadia,
Kuenia, Anammoxoglobus, Jettenia(all
fresh water species), and Scalindua (marine species)
- The anammox
bacteria are characterized by several striking properties:
Ø They all possess one anammoxosome, a membrane bound
compartment inside the cytoplasm which is the locus of anammox catabolism.
Ø Further the membranes of these bacteria mainly consist
of ladderane lipids so far, the unique in biology.
Ø In chemistry, a ladderane is an organic
molecule containing two or more fused cyclobutane rings. The name
arises from the resemblance of a series of fused cyclobutane rings to a ladder.
Ø Denitrification of water bodies and waste water
treatment involve anammox.