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Nature. 1984 Jan 19-25;307(5948):289-92.

Activation of extra copies of genes coding for nitrogenase in Rhodopseudomonas capsulata.


Biological nitrogen fixation requires the nitrogenase enzyme complex, ATP, and a strong reductant. Klebsiella pneumoniae contains 15 linked nitrogen fixation (nif) genes, three of which, nifH, nifD and nifK have been sufficiently conserved in evolution that cloned K. pneumoniae nifHDK DNA will hybridize to DNA sequences from every nitrogen-fixing bacterium examined to date, including the purple, non-sulphur bacterium Rhodopseudomonas capsulata, in which one complete nifHDK operon has been mapped. Using cloned K. pneumoniae nifHDK DNA we report here that R. capsulata contains multiple copies of the genes for nitrogenase components. Two regions containing sequences homologous to all three nif structural genes have been identified, and mutations in one region produced a Nif- phenotype. Nif+ pseudorevertants were derived from these mutants, some of which retained the original mutation suggesting that some of the extra nif gene sequences can be functionally activated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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