The organism I chose to do my micro-biography on was Nitrospira multiformis. I chose this organism because it’s method of respiration sounded interesting to me. Unlike humans, nitrifying bacteria can utilize ammonia as an electron acceptor rather than oxygen. I find things like this interesting, because it is nice to know of the different ways that organisms can thrive in their environments that seem strange to us, but that work well for them. This organisms also has novel interactions with humans and other parts of the biosphere in that it helps in the nitrogen cycle.
Intersection with human life
N. multiformis, as well as similar nitrifying microbes, are beneficial to humans and other life-forms because they help in the nitrogen cycle, an imporant, sustaining cycle in our biosphere (Kozlowski, et al., 2016). It can help in bioremediation potentially because it, other ammonia oxidizing bacteria and nitrite oxidizing bacteria together can help remove nitrogenous pollutants. Biotechnologically speaking, they can be used to clean artificial bodies of water when used in biological filters (Ni et al.
Some research has been done in order to determine the quorum sensing process and mechanisms done by various genuses of ammonia oxidizing bacteria including those of the Nitrospira genus. The genes that N. multiformis utilizes for its quorum sensing process have been discovered and it has been found that this species makes use of the Acyl-Homoserine Lactone molecule for this purpose (Mellbye et al., 2017).
Discovery and current work
This microorganism was initially discovered in 1971 and misidentified as being part of the Nitosolobus genus, due to its morphology (Norton et al.
, 2008). One of the most recent papers on it had to do with this organism’s ecological impact (Ni et al., 2018). This paper involved researched creating a filter in an artificial body of water that used various organisms in order to filter out various pollutants including nitrogen-related pollutants. For this reason, various Nitrospira species were part of the population involved in the biological filtration of this body of water (Ni et al., 2018).
N. multiformis is one of the many microorganisms in our biosphere which will be worthy of much study. In the case of N. multiformis, part of this worthiness comes from its potential utility for bioremediatory purposes, including those above in artificial bodies of water. These kinds of organisms are important also because they are involved in the cycle of nitrogen in the environment (Kozlowski et al., 2016). When there is an increase in our knowledge of microorganisms such as these, so too, is an increase in our knowledge of our biosphere.