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J Bacteriol. 1986 Apr; 166(1): 301–305.
PMCID: PMC214592

Isolation and nitrogen-fixing activity of Frankia sp. strain CpI1 vesicles.


Under N2-fixing conditions in aerobic culture and in symbiosis, frankiae produce spherical, multicellular structures that have been called vesicles. The vesicles have been proposed as the site of nitrogen fixation. We isolated vesicles by using density centrifugation in a single-step sucrose gradient. Vesicles migrated out of 50% (wt/vol) sucrose and banded at the 40 to 50% sucrose interface; they were intact, as assessed by transmission electron microscopy, and were free of hyphal contamination. Specific activities of nitrogenase in vesicles prepared anaerobically were up to 100-fold greater than the specific activity of the largely hyphal pellet, depending on the recovery of vesicles. All of the activity in the pellet could be accounted for by the number of vesicles present in the pellet. Glutamine synthetase activity in crude extracts of vesicles was extremely low.

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Selected References

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