Mitigation of greenhouse gas emission by nitrogen-fixing bacteria

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2022 Dec 21;87(1):7-12. doi: 10.1093/bbb/zbac177.


Chemical nitrogen fixation by the Haber-Bosch method permitted industrial-scale fertilizer production that supported global population growth, but simultaneously released reactive nitrogen into the environment. This minireview highlights the potential for bacterial nitrogen fixation and mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from soybean and rice fields. Nitrous oxide (N2O), a GHG, is mainly emitted from agricultural use of nitrogen fertilizer and symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Some rhizobia have a denitrifying enzyme system that includes an N2O reductase and are able to mitigate N2O emission from the rhizosphere of leguminous plants. Type II methane (CH4)-oxidizing bacteria (methanotrophs) are endophytes in paddy rice roots and fix N2 using CH4 (a GHG) as an energy source, mitigating the emission of CH4 and reducing nitrogen fertilizer usage. Thus, symbiotic nitrogen fixation shows potential for GHG mitigation in soybean and rice fields while simultaneously supporting sustainable agriculture.

Keywords: Bradyrhizobium; methane oxidation; nitrogen fixation; nitrous oxide (N2O); paddy rice.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Fertilizers / analysis
  • Greenhouse Gases*
  • Methane
  • Nitrogen
  • Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria*
  • Nitrous Oxide / analysis
  • Oryza*
  • Soil
  • Soybeans


  • Greenhouse Gases
  • Fertilizers
  • Nitrogen
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • Methane
  • Soil