The leaf cavities and the sporocarps of the water fernAzolla contain bacteria belonging to the genusArthrobacter Conn and Dimmick. The number of these bacteria can be decreased by treating the plants with novobiocin and erythromycin. The latter antibiotic kills theAnabaena, soAnabaena free plants can be obtained. In these plants the bacteria disappear almost completely. The novobiocin does not affect the heterocyst differentiation, but it decreases the N2-fixation activity by affecting the synthesis of the dinitrogenase reductase.
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Forni, C., Tel-or, E., Bar, E. et al. Effects of antibiotic treatments onAzolla-Anabaena andArthrobacter . Plant Soil 137, 151–155 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02187447