In the present paper, we summarize the current knowledge on the first step of the denitrification pathway in the ancestral extreme thermophilic bacterium Thermus thermophilus. In this organism, nitrate respiration is performed by a mobilizable respiratory island that encodes a new type of respiratory NADH dehydrogenase as electron donor, a tetrameric membrane nitrate reductase as final electron acceptor, two nitrate/nitrite transporters and the transcription factors required for their expression in response to nitrate and anoxia.

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