Yi-hua Sun

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The dissimilatory nitrate reduction process, either denitrification or dissimilatory reduction of nitrate/ nitrite into ammonium (DNRA), is the major cause of nitrous oxide emissions from both human-related   and natural causes. To date, it is unknown whether denitrification or DNRA is the most important nitrate reduction process on global and local ecosystem scale. Now, with Bacillus azotoformans, a strain is available that (theoretically) is capable of both DNRA and denitrification. This organism will allow the identification of differentiating responses to environmental drivers between the two dissimilatory nitrate reduction processes, without interference of organism-specific variation. Knowledge of these drivers would help the extrapolation to ecosystem levels to reduce nitrous oxide emission rates.