Original Papers

Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 152, Issue 4, pp 382-386

First online:

Physiological characteristics of glutamine synthetases I and II of Frankia sp. strain CpI1

  • Yu-Li TsaiAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular and Cell Biology, The University of Connecticut
  • , David R. BensonAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular and Cell Biology, The University of Connecticut

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Frankia sp. strain CpI1 has two glutamine synthetases designated GSI and GSII. Biosynthetic activities of both GSI and GSII were strongly inhibited by ADP and AMP. Alanine, aspartate, glycine and serine inhibited both GSI and GSII activities, whereas asparagine and lysine inhibited only slightly. Glutamine inhibited GSII but did not affect GSI. Since GSII is more heat labile than GSI, their relative heat stabilities can be used to determine their contribution to total GS activity. In cells grown on ammonia and on glutamine as sole combined-nitrogen sources most GS activity detected in crude extracts was due to GSI. In cells transferred to glutamate, GSI accounted for all GS activity in the first 15 h and then heat labile GSII was induced and increased to account for 40% of total GS activity within 50 h. Transfer of N2-fixing cells to ammonia-containing medium led to a rapid decrease of GSII and a slow increase of GSI activity within 24 h. Conversely, when ammonia-grown cells were transferred to combined nitrogen-free medium, GSI activity gradually decreased and GSII increased before total activity leveled off in 50 h. GSII appears to be an ammonia-assimilating enzyme specifically synthesized during perceived N-starvation of Frankia cells.

Key words

Frankia Glutamine synthetase I Glutamine synthetase II Ammonia assimilation