Heat-shock response and its contribution to thermotolerance of the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain L-31

Arch Microbiol. 2003 Jun;179(6):423-9. doi: 10.1007/s00203-003-0549-0. Epub 2003 May 1.


Compared to Escherichia coli, the nitrogen-fixing soil cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain L-31 exhibited significantly superior abilities to survive prolonged and continuous heat stress and recover therefrom. Temperature upshift induced the synthesis of heat-shock proteins of similar molecular mass in the two microbes. However, in Anabaena sp. strain L-31 the heat-shock proteins (particularly the GroEL proteins) were synthesised throughout the stress period, were much more stable and accumulated during heat stress. In contrast, in E. coli the heat-shock proteins were transiently synthesised, quickly turned over and did not accumulate. Nitrogenase activity of Anabaena cells of sp. strain L-31 continuously exposed to heat stress for 7 days rapidly recovered from thermal injury, although growth recovery was delayed. Exposure of E. coli cells to >4.5 h of heat stress resulted in a complete loss of viability and the ability to recover. Marked differences in the synthesis, stability and accumulation of heat-shock proteins appear to distinguish these bacteria in their thermotolerance and recovery from heat stress.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anabaena / genetics
  • Anabaena / growth & development
  • Anabaena / metabolism*
  • Chaperonin 60 / biosynthesis
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Heat-Shock Response*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Nitrogen Fixation*


  • Chaperonin 60
  • Heat-Shock Proteins