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Mol Microbiol. 1991 Aug;5(8):1983-91.

Regulation of nitrogen fixation in Azorhizobium caulinodans: identification of a fixK-like gene, a positive regulator of nifA.

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Unité de Physiologie Cellulaire, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


The nucleotide sequence of a 1 kb fragment upstream of Azorhizobium caulinodans fixL was established. An open reading frame of 744 bp was identified as a fixK homologue. A kanamycin cartridge was inserted into the cloned fixK-like gene and recombined into the host genome. The resulting mutant was Nif-Fix-, suggesting that FixK was required for nitrogen fixation both in symbiotic conditions and in the free-living state. Using a pfixK-lacZ fusion, the FixLJ products were shown to control the expression of fixK. Using a pnifA-lacZ fusion, the FixK product was shown to regulate positively the transcription of nifA in bacteria grown in the free-living state. In addition, a double ntrC-fixL mutant was constructed and was shown to be completely devoid of nitrogenase activity. A model of regulation, based on these data, is presented and might explain the unusual ability of A. caulinodans to fix nitrogen both under symbiotic conditions and in the free-living state.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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