5 questions on "Metabolic Pathway of Microorganisms - Nitrogen Fixation"

What is the difference between free-living and symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria?
Free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria carry out the process independently and symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria only fix nitrogen in association with certain plants.
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What is a heterocyst?
A differentiated cell that protects nitrogenase from O2, because nitrogen fixation is inhibited by oxygen because dinitrogenase reductase is irreversibly inactived by O2.
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What is the sequence of electron transfer in nitrogenase?
Electron donor --> dinitrogenase reductase --> dinitrogenase --> N2.
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How many electrons are needed for the reduction of N2 to ammonia and why? What else is needed for nitrogen fixation?
8 electrons are needed, because N2 has a triple bond and H2 is lost in the process. 16 ATP is needed, which binds to dinitrogenase reductase that lowers the reduction potential of the protein.
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Which other triply bonded compounds does nitrogenases reduce and what is it used for?
Acetylene is reduced to ethylene. It's used for a technique, called acetylene reduction assay, to detect nitrogen fixation.
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