Nitrogen fixation in Methanosarcina barkeri strain 227

  • S. H. Zinder
  • A. L. Lobo


The ability of methanogenic archaebacteria to fix N2 was independently reported by four laboratories in 1984–85. Murray and Zinder (9) and Belay, Sparling and Daniels (2) published concurrent papers describing diazotrophy in Methanosarcina barkeri strain 227 and Methanococcus thermolithotrophicus respectively, followed soon afterward by the report by Bomar, Knoll and Widdell (3) on diazotrophy in Methanosarcina barkeri strain Fusaro. Sibold et al. (16) found that eubacterial nif probes, especially nifH probes, could hybridize with restriction-enzyme digested methanogen DNA. Since then, diazotrophy has been described in several other methanogens including members of all three major methanogenic orders (1), indicating that this ability is widespread in methanogens. Diazotrophy has not been reported in the other branches of the archaebacteria, the halobacteria and sulfur-dependent thermophiles (20).


Nitrogen Fixation Rhodospirillum Rubrum nifH Sequence Vanadyl Sulfate Methanosarcina Barkeri 
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Copyright information

© Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. H. Zinder
    • 1
  • A. L. Lobo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Stocking HallCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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