Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 146, Issue 1, pp 99–103 | Cite as

Inhibition of nitrogen fixation by nitrite inAnabaena variabilis

  • Herbert Böhme
Original Papers


Addition of nitrite to rapidly growing, nitrogen-fixing filaments ofAnabaena variabilis caused an immediate drop in nitrogenase activity. This was followed by a transient induction of nitrite reductase, recovery of nitrogen fixation and cyanobacterial growth. The experiments with isolated heterocysts and a partially purified nitrogenase preparation from heterocysts showed that nitrite primarily exerted its inhibitory effect by inactivating nitrogenase irreversibly, rather than interfering with photosynthetic energy conservation.

Key words

Heterocyst Nitrogenase Nitrite Ammonium Ferredoxin: nitrite reductase Cyanobacteria Anabaena variabilis 



American type culture collection




carbonyl cyanide p-trifluoromethoxy phenylhydrazone


2-{[2 hydroxy-1,1-bis(hydroxymethyl)ethyl] amino} ethane sulfonic acid


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert Böhme
    • 1
  1. 1.Fakhltät für BiologieUniversität KonstanzKonstanzFederal Republic of Germany

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