Molecular and General Genetics MGG

, Volume 186, Issue 4, pp 518–524 | Cite as

Cloning of the glnA, ntrB and ntrC genes of Klebsiella pneumoniae and studies of their role in regulation of the nitrogen fixation (nif) gene cluster

  • Guadalupe Espin
  • Ariel Alvarez-Morales
  • Frank Cannon
  • Ray Dixon
  • Mike Merrick


The glanA, ntrB and ntrC genes of Klebsiella pneumoniae have been cloned, on a 12 kb HindIII fragment, into the plasmid pACYC 184. In a coupled in vitro transcription/translation system the resultant plasmid, pGE100, directed synthesis of five polypeptides (molecular weights 73, 53, 51, 39, 36 kd) from the cloned fragment. A number of plasmids were derived from pGE100 and studied by complementation analysis and in vitro transcription/translation in order to locate particular genes and identify their products.

On the basis of the results presented here, together with previous genetic and physical characterisation of the glnA gene and its product in other enteric bacteria, we propose that the 53 kd polypeptide is the glnA gene product (glutamine synthetase monomer).

Two polypeptides (36 kd and 51 kd) were synthesised from a 3 kb region previously defined as glnR. In E. coli and S. typhimurium this region comprises two genes ntrB and ntrC with products of 36 kd and 54 kd respectively. This analogy supports the idea that the 36 kd and 51 kd polypeptides are the products of the K. pneumoniae ntrB and ntrC genes respectively. Comparison of these assignments with the physical map of the region indicates a gene order glnA, ntrB, ntrC.

Assessment of the Nif phenotype of a glnA-ntrC deletion strain carrying various clones from pGE100 demonstrated that glnA is not required for expression of the nif regulon and that of the three genes cloned, ntrC alone is sufficient for nif expression.


Polypeptide Nitrogen Fixation Glutamine Synthetase Gene Order Klebsiella 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guadalupe Espin
    • 1
  • Ariel Alvarez-Morales
    • 1
  • Frank Cannon
    • 1
  • Ray Dixon
    • 1
  • Mike Merrick
    • 1
  1. 1.A.R.C. Unit of Nitrogen FixationUniversity of SussexBrightonEngland

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