Nitrogen source influences natural abundance 15N of Escherichia coli

Jessica G. Collins, Paul Dijkstra, Stephen C. Hart, Bruce A. Hungate, Nichole M. Flood, Egbert Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Escherichia coli cells were forced to mineralize or assimilate nitrogen in vitro by manipulating substrate carbon and nitrogen availability. When grown on an organic nitrogen source, E. coli cells released NH4+ and were enriched in 15N relative to the nitrogen source (1.6-3.1‰). However, when cells were grown on an inorganic nitrogen source, the biomass was depleted (6.1-9.1‰) relative to the source. By measuring 15N enrichment of microorganisms relative to nitrogen pools, ecosystem ecologists may be able to determine if microorganisms are assimilating or mineralizing nitrogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-250
Number of pages5
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Ammonium
  • E. coli
  • N
  • Natural abundance stable isotope
  • Nitrogen assimilation
  • Nitrogen mineralization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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