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Cyanobacteria produced the oxygen that began to accumulate on Earth 2.5 billion years ago, at the dawn of the Proterozoic Eon. By 2.4 billion years ago, the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) marked the onset of an atmosphere containing oxygen. The oxygen content of the atmosphere then remained low for almost 2 billion years. Why? Nitrogenase, the sole nitrogen-fixing enzyme on Earth, controls the entry of molecular nitrogen into the biosphere. Nitrogenase is inhibited in air containing more than 2%doi:10.1016/j.tplants.2019.07.007 pmid:31447302 fatcat:3m4rqa5htbhyxnvlfhv7wbhd6i