Today while discussing earthworm cup cultures and how does earthworm digest tissue paper, it was asked from where does earthworm get all the nutrients. The glycolysis pathway photo as below shows how earthworm digests tissue paper, there are several intermediate compound which are released, which are precursors of amino acid, etc. @Smiti said the earthworm cup become dirty. The question was what is this dirt? can the dirt have nutrients? @Theertha and others said earthworm excreta has ammonia and can act as a source of nitrogen. The earthworm might have eaten something like soil with organic matter and essential elements like nitrogen, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, etc, and that may be the source of nitrogen in cup culture. The soil may also have nitrogenous compounds as well as bacteria which can act as a source of nitrogen. These matter may be part of earthworm’s excreta coming into tissue paper making it dirty.
Process of how glucose in tissue paper is broken down in earthworm’s body in glycolysis pathway, to give rise to intermediates which help to form amino acids, and other essential compounds.
Earthworm cup cultures (2 month old) with dirty tissue paper
Is there any chemical test which can help to test whether this dirty tissue paper has nitrogen? How can we test and detect nitrogen?