The regulation of nitrogen assimilation was investigated in the Gram-positive actinomycete Corynebacterium glutamicum. Biochemical studies and site-directed mutagenesis revealed that glutamine synthetase activity is regulated via adenylylation in this organism. The genes encoding the central signal transduction protein PH (glnB) and the primary nitrogen sensor uridylyltransferase (glnD) were isolated and sequenced. Additionally, genes putatively involved in the degradation of ornithine (ocd) and sarcosine (soxA), ammonium uptake (amtP) and protein secretion (ftsY, srp) were identified in C. glutamicum. Based on these observations, the mechanism of N regulation in C. glutamicum is similar to that of the Gram-negative Escherichia coli. As deduced from data base searches, the described regulation may also hold true for the important pathogen Mycobacterium glutamicum.