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Effect Of O2 On Vesicle Formation, Acetylene Reduction, And O2-uptake Kinetics In Frankia Sp. HFPCcI3 Isolated From Casuarina Cunninghamiana.

M. Murry, Z. Zhongze, J. Torrey
Published 1985 · Biology, Medicine

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The effect of the partial pressure of oxygen (PO2) on the formation of vesicles, which are thought to be the site of N2 fixation in Frankia, was studied in HFPCcI3, an effective isolate from Casuarina cunninghamiana. Unlike other actinorhizal root nodules, vesicles are not produced by the endophyte in Casuarina nodules. However, in culture under aerobic conditions, large, phase-bright vesicles are formed in HFPCcI3 within 20 h following removal of NH+4 from the culture medium and reach peak numbers within 72 to 96 h. In vivo acetylene reduction activity parallels vesicle formation. Optimum rates of acetylene reduction in short-term assays occurred at 20% O2 (0.2 atm (1 atm = 101.325 kPa] in the gas phase. O2 uptake (respiration) determined polarographically showed diffusion-limited kinetics and remained unsaturated by O2 until 300 microM O2. In contrast, respiration in NH+4-grown cells was saturated by O2 between 8 and 10 microM O2. These results indicate the presence of a diffusion barrier associated with the vesicles. Vesicle development was repressed in cells incubated in N-free media sparged with gas mixtures with PO2 between 0.001 and 0.003 atm. Nitrogenase was induced under these conditions, but acetylene reduction was extremely O2 sensitive. The kinetics of O2 uptake as a function of dissolved O2 concentration in avesicular cells were similar to those in NH+4-grown cells indicating the lack of a diffusion barrier. These results demonstrate that vesicle formation and the development of the O2 protection mechanisms of nitrogenase are regulated by ambient PO2 in HFPCcI3.
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