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Arch Microbiol. 1998 May;169(5):464-7.

The rnf gene products in rhodobacter capsulatus play an essential role in nitrogen fixation during anaerobic DMSO-dependent growth in the dark

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Department of Biology, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka 560, Japan.


The rnf genes in Rhodobacter capsulatus are essential for nitrogen fixation in the light. Because R. capsulatus grows readily on N2 in the dark by anaerobic respiration with dimethylsulfoxide, the diazotrophic capacities of various strains in the dark were examined. No rnf mutants tested grew diazotrophically, and a nonpolar fdxN-null mutant showed decreased diazotrophic growth in the dark, suggesting that the Rnf and FdxN proteins form the primary electron donor pathway to nitrogenase in the dark as well as in the light. Nonphotosynthetic mutants lacking the component of cyclic electron transport grew diazotrophically and the levels of Rnf proteins were similar to those of the wild-type. These results indicate that rnf gene products play an essential role in nitrogen fixation without any functional link to the cyclic electron transport system.


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