Nitrogen fixation associated with sago (Metroxylon sagu) and some implications

Shipton, W.A., Baker, A., Blaney, B.J., Horwood, P.F., Warner, J.M., Pelowa, D., and Greenhill, A.R. (2011) Nitrogen fixation associated with sago (Metroxylon sagu) and some implications. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 52 (1). pp. 56-61.

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Aims:  To determine the presence and contribution of diazotrophic bacteria to nitrogen concentrations in edible starch derived from the sago palm (Metroxylon sagu).

Methods and Results:  Isolation of diazotrophic bacteria and analysis of nitrogen fixation were conducted on pith, root and sago starch samples. Acetylene reduction showed that five of ten starch samples were fixing nitrogen. Two presumptive nitrogen-fixing bacteria from starch fixed nitrogen in pure culture and five isolates were positive for the nif H gene. Nitrogen concentrations in 51 starch samples were low (37 samples <0·2 g kg−1; 14 ranging from 0·2 to 2·0 g kg−1).

Conclusions:  Nitrogen fixation occurs in sago starch, which undoubtedly plays a role in fermentation ecology. Nitrogen levels are considered too low to be of nutritional benefit and to protect against nutritional-associated illnesses.

Significance and Impact of the Study:  Sago starch does not add significantly to the protein calorie intake and may be associated with susceptibility to nutritional-associated illness.

Item ID: 15261
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1472-765X
Keywords: Cronobacter, diazotrophic bacteria, nitrogen fixation, sago starch
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2011 04:58
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060504 Microbial Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920406 Food Safety @ 100%
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