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J Bacteriol. 1974 Sep;119(3):899-906.

Photoinactivation of ammonia oxidation in Nitrosomonas.


Photoinactivation of ammonia oxidation in cells of Nitrosomonas was shown to follow first-order kinetics with a rate constant proportional to incident light intensity. The action spectrum for photoinactivation consisted of a broad peak in the ultraviolet range, where both hydroxylamine and ammonia oxidation were affected, and a shoulder at approximately 410 nm where only ammonia oxidation was affected. In photoinactivated cells, hydroxylamine but not ammonia was oxidized to nitrite and hydroxylamine but not ammonia caused reduction of cytochromes in vivo. The amount per cell of the following constituents was not measurably altered by photoinactivation: cytochromes b, c, a, and P460; ubiquinone; phospholipid; free amino acids; hydroxylamine-dependent nitrite synthetase; nitrite reductase; p-phenylenediamine oxidase; and cytochrome c oxidase. Malonaldehyde or lipid peroxides were not detected in photoinactivated cells. Photoinactivation was prevented (i) under anaerobic conditions, (ii) in the presence of methanol, allylthiourea, thiosemicarbazide, hydroxylamine, ethylxanthate, or CO at concentrations wich caused 100% inhibition of ammonia oxidation, and (iii) at concentrations of ammonia or hydroxylamine which gave a rapid rate of nitrite production. Recovery of ammonia oxidation activity in 90% inactivated cells took place in 6 h, required an energy and/or nitrogen source, and was inhibited by 400 mug of chloramphenicol per ml.

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