Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 151, Issue 6, pp 469–474 | Cite as

Evidence that the barrier to the penetration of oxygen into heterocysts depends upon two layers of the cell envelope

  • Marcia A. Murry
  • C. Peter Wolk
Original Papers

Abstract

Mutants of Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 with O2-sensitive acetylene-reducing activity were studied to identify envelope components that contribute to the barrier limiting diffusion of oxygen into the heterocyst. Mutant strain EF114, deficient in a heterocyst-specific glycolipid, reduced acetylene only under strictly anaerobic conditions. Analysis of in vivo O2 uptake as a function of dissolved pO2 showed that EF114 has lost the low affinity, diffusion-limited respiratory component associated with heterocysts in wild-type filaments. The low affinity respiratory activity was also lost in EF116, a mutant in which the cohesiveness of the outer polysaccharide layer was reduced. Restoration of aerobic nitrogen fixation in a spontaneous revertant of EF116 and in a strain complemented with cosmid 41E11 was associated with restoration of the low affinity component of respiratory activity. The results provide evidence that the barrier to diffusion of gas into heterocysts depends upon both the glycolipid layer and the polysaccharide layer of the heterocyst envelope.

Key words

Anabaena Heterocysts Nitrogenase Oxygen-protection Mutants 

Abbreviations

DCMU

3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcia A. Murry
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. Peter Wolk
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.MSU-DOE Plant Research LaboratoryMichigan State UniversityE. LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of Botany and Plant PathologyMichigan State UniversityE. LansingUSA

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