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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2002 Sep;68(9):4679-83.

Comparison of models describing light dependence of N(2) fixation in heterocystous cyanobacteria.

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  • 1Department of Marine Microbiology, NIOO-KNAW, 4400 AC Yerseke, The Netherlands.


The abilities of four models to describe nitrogenase light-response curves were compared, using the heterocystous cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena and a cyanobacterial bloom from the Baltic Sea as examples. All tested models gave a good fit of the data, and the rectangular hyperbola model is recommended for fitting nitrogenase-light response curves. This model describes an enzymatic process, while the others are empirical. It was possible to convert the process parameters between the four models and compare N(2) fixation with photosynthesis. The physiological meanings of the process parameters are discussed and compared to those of photosynthesis.

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