Send to

Choose Destination
Biochimie. 1986 Jan;68(1):113-20.

The use of nickel to probe the role of hydrogen metabolism in cyanobacterial nitrogen fixation.


The hydrogenase activities of the heterocystous cyanobacteria Anabaena cylindrica and Mastigocladus laminosus are nickel dependent, based on their inability to consume hydrogen with various electron acceptors or produce hydrogen with dithionite-reduced methyl viologen, after growth in nickel-depleted medium. Upon addition of nickel ions to nickel-deficient cultures of A. cylindrica, the hydrogenase activity recovered in a manner which was protein synthesis-dependent, the recovery being inhibited by chloramphenicol. We have used the nickel dependence of the hydrogenase as a probe of the possible roles of H2 consumption in enhancing nitrogen fixation, and particularly for protecting nitrogenase against oxygen inhibition. Although at the usual growth temperatures (25 degrees for A. cylindrica and 40 degrees for M. laminosus), the cells consume H2 vigorously in an oxyhydrogen reaction after growth in the presence of nickel ions, we have not found that the reaction confers any significant additional protection of nitrogenase, either at aerobic pO2 (for both organisms) or at elevated pO2 (for A. cylindrica). However, at elevated temperatures (e.g., 40 degrees for A. cylindrica and 48 degrees for M. laminosus) a definite protective effect was observed. At these temperatures both organisms rapidly lost acetylene reduction activity under aerobic conditions. When hydrogen gas (10%) was present, the cells retained approximately 50% of the nitrogenase activity observed under anaerobic conditions (argon gas phase). No such protection by hydrogen gas was observed with nickel-deficient cells. Studies with cell-free extracts of A. cylindrica showed that the predominant effect of temperature was not due to thermal inactivation of nitrogenase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center