Example Of Nitrosococcus Oceani And Nitrosopulimus Maritimus Essay
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What chemicals do Nitrosococcus oceani and Nitrosopumilus maritimus consume from their ocean environment? How does the abundance of these chemicals influence their success and abundance? What is the relationship between nutrient availability and natural selection, in general?
Nitrosococcus oceani and Nitrosopumilus maritimus are examples of single celled organisms which are part of the kingdom Archaea. They are totally separated from the bacteria and other organisms (Stewart, n.d.). They are very important for some of the natural processes in the environment especially for the nitrogen and methane cycle. They are also a major part of the biological and biomass processes and activities in the ocean (Stewart, n.d.).
These organisms consume the vitamin called B-12 in order to survive and replicate. All organisms need this vitamin to form complex molecules. According to Hickey (2014), these types of Archaea could produce B-12 in order to survive as well as to provide vitamins to other species in the ocean. The abundance of nutrients could provide the N. oceani and N. maritimus species to reproduce in large populations in the ocean. However, most of the microorganisms need this type of vitamins and they need to compete for survival.
These organisms also consume nitrogen in the form of ammonium for the process of nitrification. The ammonium will be converted by N. oceani and N. maritimus to produce nitrites which will eventually convert to nitrates by natural processes (Urakawa, 2012). In the process, they also consume oxygen for the nitrification process which is the main reason why they reside on oxygen-rich parts of the ocean.
Nitrogen is very abundant to the atmosphere as well as oxygen. These gases are the major part of biological and biomass activities in the ocean. Some of the microorganisms survived due to the nitrogen and methane cycle or process that took place in the ocean waters. Some examples of these microorganisms are the N. oceani and N. maritimus. Their abundance could affect the survival of these microorganisms. This is also the main reason why these two are examples of the most abundant microorganisms in the earth (Urakawa, 2012).
The abundance of nutrients as well as other chemicals in the ocean could provide the assurance of the survival of N. oceani and N. maritimus. In general, nutrient availability is one of the major factors in the survival of the species. Natural selection takes place when the nutrients are not enough for their survival or for their reproduction. The N. oceani and N. maritimus ability to produce B-12 is part of their process of natural selection in order to survive. Since the nutrients are not enough for them and for the rest of the microorganisms in the ocean, they are forced to mutate and in this case, they became vitamin-producing microorganisms. This is one example of the variation of traits which is one of the major mechanisms of natural selection (Understanding Evolution, n.d.).
What chemical byproducts do each contribute? How does this relate to the “Greenhouse Effect?”
The N. oceani and N. maritimus have byproducts on their process of producing B-12 vitamin which is essential for their survival and on their process of nitrification. According to Yates (2012), these organisms have genes that could produce an enzyme that could cleave the carbon-phosphorus bond. One of the major by-products of this process is methane. Scientists are fascinated with the fact that 4 percent of the methane comes from the ocean since it is aerobic. Microorganisms could not easily produce methane in an aerobic condition. In their recent studies, they found out that the N. oceani and N. maritimus are examples of microorganisms which are the source of methane (Yates, 2012).
The two microorganisms are also responsible for the production of nitrites and nitrates from the ocean. In their nitrification process, the nitrogen in the form of ammonium is oxidizes to form nitrites which will convert to nitrates (Urakawa, 2012). These chemical processes are part of the nitrogen cycle. They release these nitrogen compounds in gas form. Nitrate production is one of their major contributions to the environment in order to sustain the nitrogen cycle (Stewart, n.d.).
The methane and nitrates which are commonly produced by N. oceani and N. maritimus are examples of greenhouse gases. These gases are the major cause of the greenhouse effect or commonly known as global warming (Yates, 2012). According to Yates (2012), the 20 percent of the greenhouse effect could be associated with methane. The greenhouse effect is the thermal radiation in the earth’s surface due to the abundance of greenhouse gases. The N. oceani and N. maritimus are very abundant to the earth and they could greatly contribute to the production of greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrates. These gases absorb the thermal radiation coming from the sun and radiate it back to all directions which warm the surface of the earth.
If one group is selected for due to their ability to withstand an abundance of crude oil, what chemical offsets to the environment is possible? How will this affect other organisms in this community? Provide specific examples with references to support your ideas.
In the study of Urakawa et al (2012), they have found out that Archaea is more sensitive from hydrocarbons than the ammonia oxidizing and heterotrophic bacteria. In this case, the bacteria group has the better ability to withstand the abundance of crude oil. The abundance of crude oil in the ocean could be the result of an oil spill or when there are leakages in the oil plants located in the ocean. If only one group is selected due to their ability to withstand the crude oil abundance, then there would be a major problem to the survival of the microorganisms in the ocean although there would be lesser production of greenhouse gases.
Since organisms from Kingdom Archaea have the ability to produce greenhouse gases, one of the chemical offsets for their low population is the lower production of these gases. They could be beneficial to most of the organism since global warming due to the greenhouse effect could affect all living things. Lowering their population could help save many species in the land as well as in the ocean.
However, according to Hickey (2014), these organisms are also responsible for the production of vitamin B-12 which is very essential to the survival of most of the organisms in the ocean. Lowering the population of the N. oceani and N. maritimus could also mean decrease in the concentration of the vitamin B-12. It could effect to the death or lowering of population of most of the organisms in the ocean which depends of the microorganisms from the kingdom Archaea for vitamin B-12.
(nd). Understanding Evolution. Retrieved from http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_25.
Hickey, H. (2014). Vitamin Water: Measuring Essential Nutrients in the Ocean. University of Washington. Retrieved from http://www.washington.edu/news/2014/02/24/vitamin-water-measuring-essential-nutrients-in-the-ocean/.
Stewart, R. (nd). Oceanography in the 21st century – An Online Textbook. Retrieved from http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/microbialweb.htm.
Urakawa, H., Garcia, J., Barreto, P., Molina, G., & Barreto, J. (2012). A sensitive crude oil bioassay indicates that oil spills potentially induce a change of major nitrifying prokaryotes from the Archaea to the Bacteria. Environmental Pollution, 164: 42-45.
Yates, D. (2012). Study Identifies Prime Source of Ocean Methane. News Bureau, University of Illinois. Retrieved from http://news.illinois.edu/news/12/0830methane_WilfredVanDerDonk_WilliamMetcalf.html.
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