, Volume 169, Issue 1–2, pp 1–8 | Cite as

Localization of iron-superoxide dismutase in the cyanobiont ofAzolla filiculoides Lam

  • A. Canini
  • B. Bergman
  • P. Civitareale
  • G. Rotilio
  • M. Grilli Caiola


Immunogold labeling and transmission electron microscopy were used to localize iron-superoxide dismutase (Fe-SOD) in the different cells of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterial symbiont present within different leaf cavity groups ofAzolla filiculoides Lam. As evidenced by Western blotting and immunoprecipitation, Fe-SOD antibody fromAnabaena cylindrica recognized Fe-SOD in extracts of the cyanobiont and showed the same electrophoretic mobility and pattern as purifiedA. cylindrica Fe-SOD. In vegetative cells of the cyanobiont, Fe-SOD was mainly localized in the thylakoidal membranes and in the outer membrane. The labeling pattern was similar in vegetative cells of the various groups of leaf cavities examined except at the apex where a lower gold particle density was seen. In heterocysts of the leaf cavity groups containing high nitrogenase activity, Fe-SOD labeling was most pronounced and more intense than in vegetative cells. The Fe-SOD label was preferentially located throughout the heterocyst cytoplasm and in the honeycomb regions. In accordance with the decline in nitrogenase activity, the Fe-SOD gold particle density decreased significantly in heterocysts of basal leaf cavity group. The presence of Fe-SOD in regions of high nitrogenase protein levels, and the fact that the pattern of Fe-SOD label parallels that of nitrogenase activity support a role of Fe-SOD in the protection of nitrogenase against superoxide radicals.


Immunogold labeling Iron-superoxide dismutase Cyanobiont Azolla filiculoides Heterocysts Nitrogenase 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Canini
    • 2
  • B. Bergman
    • 1
  • P. Civitareale
    • 2
  • G. Rotilio
    • 2
  • M. Grilli Caiola
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyStockholm UniversityStockholm
  2. 2.Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversità degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly

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