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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2002 Apr;58(5):618-24. Epub 2002 Feb 14.

Disruption of the uptake hydrogenase gene, but not of the bidirectional hydrogenase gene, leads to enhanced photobiological hydrogen production by the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120.

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  • 1Department of Biology, School of Education and Division of Pure and Applied Physics, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku, Tokyo 169-8050, Japan.


In order to determine the effects of the deletion of hydrogenase genes on nitrogenase-based photobiological H(2) productivity by heterocystous N(2)-fixing cyanobacteria, we have constructed three hydrogenase mutants from Anabaena sp. PCC 7120: hupL(-) (deficient in the uptake hydrogenase), hoxH(-) (deficient in the bidirectional hydrogenase), and hupL(-)/ hoxH(-) (deficient in both genes). The hupL(-) mutant produced H(2) at a rate four to seven times that of the wild-type under optimal conditions. The hoxH(-) mutant produced significantly lower amounts of H(2) and had slightly lower nitrogenase activity than wild-type. H(2) production by the hupL(-)/ hoxH(-) mutant was slightly lower than, but almost equal to, that of the hupL(-) mutant. The efficiency of light energy conversion to H(2) by the hupL(-) mutant at its highest H(2) production stage was 1.2% at an actinic visible light intensity of 10 W/m(2) (PAR) under argon atmosphere. These results indicate that deletion of the hupL gene could be employed as a source for further improvement of H(2) production in a nitrogenase-based photobiological H(2) production system.

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