Nitrogen-fixing root nodule, micrograph

Nitrogen-fixing root nodule, micrograph

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Credit: DR KEITH WHEELER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Nitrogen-fixing root nodule. Light micrograph of a section through a root nodule of a leguminous plant containing Rhizobium sp. soil bacteria (orange). These bacteria convert inert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia, which can then be used by the plant, allowing it to grow in nitrogen-poor soils, an advantage over other plants. In return, the plant provides the bacteria with organic compounds made by photosynthesis. the bacteria are able to grow and reproduce within the nodule as part of a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship. Magnification: x44 when printed 10 centimetres wide.

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