Biochemical Genetics of Nitrogen Fixation

  • Winston J. Brill
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 63)


This chapter will introduce the subject of nitrogen fixation and will stress the biochemical aspects. Subsequent papers on nitrogen fixation in this volume will focus on the molecular biology and regulation of the system in several different organisms. For a more detailed background, the reader may want to consult one or more reviews dealing with the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis1,2,3,4,5,6,7 or those dealing with the biochemistry of nitrogen fixation in free-living bacteria3,6,8,9. Both the biochemistry and molecular biology of nitrogen fixation are quite complex and breakthroughs in one area of nitrogen fixation research frequently impact on other areas.


Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Nitrogen Fixation Infection Thread Molybdenum Atom Rhizobium Species 
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  1. 1.
    W. D. Bauer Infection of legumes by rhizobia, Ann. Rev. Plant Physiol. 32: 407 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. E. Beringer, N. Brewin, A. W. B. Johnston, H. M. Schulman, and D. A. Hopwood The Rhizobium-legume symbiosis, Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 204: 219 (1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    W. J. Brill Biochemical genetics of nitrogen fixation, Microbiol. Rev. 44: 449 (1980).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    W. J. Broughton Control of specificity in legume-Rhizobium associations, J. Appl. Bacteriol. 45: 165 (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    F. B. Dazzo Bacterial attachment as related to cellular recognition in the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis, J. Supramol. Struct, and Cell. Biochem. 16: 29 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    G. P. Roberts and W. J. Brill Genetics and regulation of nitrogen fixation, Ann. Rev. Microbiol. 35: 207 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    E. L. Schmidt Initiation of plant root-microbe interactions, Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 33: 335 (1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    F. M. Ausubel and F. C. Cannon, Molecular genetic analysis of Klebsiella pneumoniae nitrogen fixation (nif) genes, Cold Spring Harbor Symposium of Quantitative Biology 45:487 (1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    L. E. Mortenson and R. N. F. Thorneley Structure and function of nitrogenase, Annu. Rev. Biochem. 48: 387 (1979).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Winston J. Brill
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Bacteriology and Center for Studies of Nitrogen FixationUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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