Lecture 28-Nitrogen

Lecture 28-Nitrogen - Lecture 28 Nitrogen-The air is...

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Lecture 28- Nitrogen -The air is composed of 78% nitrogen; very abundant, but plants can not use it unless it is in the form of ammonium (plants lack the enzyme necessary for breaking the N 2 triple bond The Cycle -Organic nitrogen is ingested by animals, then broken down into NH 4 + (ammonium) -Nitrate, NO 3 , (a fertiliser of organic matter, oxidation state +5) is reduced first to NO 2 -, then to ammonium, NH 4 + (oxidation state –3) -ATP is required for the reduction -Nitrogen assimilation: NO 3 is converted to NH 4 +, where it is used to synthesise organic molecules such as amino acids Ammonium Toxicity -Humans have an immense aversion to the smell of ammonia because it is highly toxic, can kill very quickly -Ammonium dissipates proton gradients (the result of this is that ATP is not made by oxidative phosphorylation) -NH 3 is not charged, so it will move across membranes very easily, will attach with a H+ to make NH 4 +, thereby consuming protons and messing with the proton gradient, thereby messing with ATP production
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