Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 147, Issue 4, pp 383–388 | Cite as

Comparative physiology of nitrogenase activity and vesicle development for Frankia strains CpI1, ACN1 ag , EAN1pec and EUN1f

  • L. S. Tisa
  • J. C. Ensign
Original Papers


The relationship between nitrogen fixation and development of a specialized cell structure, called the vesicle, was studied using four Frankia isolates. Nitrogenase activity was repressed in all four strains during growth with ammonia. Strain CpI1 formed no vesicles during NH4 growth. Strains ACN1 ag , EAN1pec and EUN1f produced low numbers of vesicles in the presence of ammonia. Following transfer to nitrogen-free media, a parallel increase in nitrogenase activity and vesicle numbers occurred with all four isolates. Appearance of nitrogenase activity was more rapid in those strains that possessed some vesicles at the time of shift to N2 as a nitrogen source. The ratio of vesicle numbers to level of nitrogenase activity varied widely among the four strains and in response to different growth conditions and culture age of the individual strains. Optimum conditions of temperature, carbon and energy source, nitrogen source and availability of iron and molybdenum were different for each of the four strains. Those conditions that significantly reduced nitrogenase activity were always associated with decreased numbers of vesicles.

Key words

Frankia Nitrogen fixation Vesicle development 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. S. Tisa
    • 1
  • J. C. Ensign
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BacteriologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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