Dictionary.com

nitrifying bacteria

[ nītrə-fī′ĭng ]
Save This Word!

Any of various soil bacteria that change ammonia or ammonium into nitrite or change nitrite into nitrate as part of the nitrogen cycle. Bacteria of the genus Nitrosomonas are the primary converters of ammonium into nitrite (which is actually toxic to plants), and bacteria of the genus Nitrobacter oxidize the nitrite to form nitrate ions (which are readily absorbed and usable by plants). Most of the nitrogen contained in fertilizer is made available to plants by these bacteria.

QUIZZES

THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?

Words nearby nitrifying bacteria

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Example sentences from the Web for nitrifying bacteria

Tired of Typos? Get Help Now!