Fraser Bergersen rose from humble beginnings in New Zealand to become a leading microbiologist who specialized in the physiology and biochemistry of legume nitrogen fixation. He and his family emigrated to Australia in 1954. Virtually all of his career was spent in Canberra at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Division of Plant Industry. In the 1970s, Bergersen and colleagues achieved worldwide prominence when they elucidated the role of leghaemoglobin in facilitating oxygen diffusion to the Bradyrhizobium bacteroids in soybean nodules and in the nitrogen fixation process itself. During the rest of his working life, Fraser Bergersen contributed greatly to understanding the role of oxygen, the mode of its delivery, and terminal oxidases in all forms of biological nitrogen fixation.
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