Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Several blue-green algae were surveyed for the occurrence of the hydrogenase which was assayed by the oxyhydrogen or Knallgas reaction in the intact organisms. In aerobically grown cultures, the reaction was detectable in Anabaena cylindrica, Nostoc muscorum and in two Anabaena variabilis species, whereas virtually no activity was observed in Anacystis nidulans and Cyanophora paradoxa. In these latter two algae, the reaction was, however, found after growth under molecular hydrogen for several days, which drastically increased the activity levels with all the algae tested. In the nitrogen fixing species, the activity of the Knallgas reaction was enhanced when all combined nitrogen was omitted from the media. H2 and hydrogenase could not significantly support the CO2-fixation in photoreduction experiments with all blue-green algae investigated here. Hydrogenase was assayed by the dithionite and methyl viologen dependent evolution of hydrogen and was found to be present with essentially the same specific activity levels in preparations of both heterocysts and vegetative cells from Anabaena cylindrica. Na2S2O4 as well as H2 supported the C2H2-reduction of the isolated heterocysts. The H2-dependent C2H2-reduction did not require the presence of oxygen but was strictly light-dependent where H2 served as an electron donor to photosystem I of these cells. It is concluded that hydrogen can be utilized by two different pathways in blue-green algae.
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