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Name: Little Ricky
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Question:
I'm a seventh grader doing a science project on the growth of plants. I was using a CD ROM to do research when I ran into a word that was rhizobacterium and didn't know what it meant. I would appreciate it if you would tell me what rhizobacterium means.



Replies:
AHA!! a question just right for a microbiologist.. rhizobacterium is a group of organisms which live in cooperation with legumes. What they do is take nitrogen in the form of NO2 from the atmosphere and convert it to a form that the plant can actually use to grow, something like NH4 (ammonia) or NO3- (nitrate ion) In exchange, the plants provide the little amount of organic material to feed the bacteria and keep them happy, as well as providing a place in which to live and grow (if you pull up a plant with Rhizobium associated with it, you'll see little nodules on the roots -- these contain the bacteria) Rhizobium is a member of what are known as nitrogen-fixers, for this reason.

--WORDSWORTH



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