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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-072X
    Keywords: Oscillatoria ; Cyanobacteria ; Nitrogen fixation ; Light-dark cycles
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract The non-heterocystous cyanobacterium Oscillatoria sp. strain 23 fixes nitrogen under aerobic conditions. If nitrate-grown cultures were transferred to a medium free of combined nitrogen, nitrogenase was induced within about 1 day. The acetylene reduction showed a diurnal variation under conditions of continuous light. Maximum rates of acetylene reduction steadily increased during 8 successive days. When grown under alternating light-dark cycles, Oscillatoria sp. fixes nitrogen preferably in the dark period. For dark periods longer than 8 h, nitrogenase activity is only present during the dark period. For dark periods of 8 h and less, however, nitrogenase activity appears before the beginning of the dark period. This is most pronounced in cultures grown in a 20 h light – 4 h dark cycle. In that case, nitrogenase activity appears 3–4 h before the beginning of the dark period. According to the light-dark regime applied, nitrogenase activity was observed during 8–11 h. Oscillatoria sp. grown under 16 h light and 8 h dark cycle, also induced nitrogenase at the usual point of time, when suddenly transferred to conditions of continuous light. The activity appeared exactly at the point of time where the dark period used to begin. No nitrogenase activity was observed when chloramphenicol was added to the cultures 3 h before the onset of the dark period. This observation indicated that for each cycle, de novo nitrogenase synthesis is necessary.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-072X
    Keywords: Oscillatoria ; Cyanobacteria ; Nitrogen fixation ; Oxygen protection of N2-ase
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Oscillatoria sp. strain 23 is a filamentous, non-heterocystous cyanobacterium that fixes nitrogen aerobically. Although, in this organism nitrogenase is inactivated by oxygen a high tolerance is observed. Up to a pO2 of 0.15 atm, oxygen does not have any measurable effects on acetylene reduction. Higher concentrations of oxygen inhibited the activity to a relatively high degree. Evidence for two mechanisms of oxygen protection of nitrogenase in this cyanobacterium was obtained. A high rate of synthesis of nitrogenase may allow the organism to maintain a certain amount of active enzyme under aerobic conditions. Secondly, a switch off/on mechanism may reversibly convert the active enzyme into a non-active form which is insensitive to oxygen inactivation after a sudden and short-term exposure to high oxygen concentrations. It is conceived that these mechanisms in addition to a temporal separation of nitrogen fixation from oxygenic photosynthesis sufficiently explain the regulation process of aerobic nitrogen fixation in this organism.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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