Localization and activities of nitrogenase, glutamine synthetase and glutamate synthase in Azotobacter vinelandii grown in oxygen-controlled continuous culture

Arch Microbiol. 1983 Oct;136(1):74-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00415614.


Azotobacter vinelandii was grown in oxygen-controlled continuous cultures under conditions of dinitrogen fixation. Different oxygen concentrations were adjusted with air. Cell-free extracts were employed to study the oxygen dependency of the intracellular distribution and activity of the following enzymes: nitrogenase, glutamine synthetase and glutamate synthase. Nitrogenase was localized exclusively in the soluble fraction. Its activity increased steeply when the oxygen concentration employed in growing the organism decreased from about 30% close to 0% air saturation. Glutamine synthetase was identified exclusively as a soluble enzyme. The degree of adenylylation of the enzyme increased from about one to about four parallel to nitrogenase activity when the oxygen concentration in the culture was lowered. Glutamate synthase was detected in both a soluble and a membrane-bound form. The sum of specific activities of both forms stayed constant irrespective of changes in the oxygen concentration. However, with increasing oxygen concentration, the proportion of the membrane-bound form increased up to two-thirds of the total activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Azotobacter / enzymology*
  • Cytochromes / metabolism
  • Glutamate Synthase / analysis*
  • Glutamate-Ammonia Ligase / analysis*
  • Manganese / metabolism
  • Multienzyme Complexes / metabolism
  • NAD / metabolism
  • NADH, NADPH Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Nitrogenase / analysis*
  • Oxygen / pharmacology*
  • Transaminases / analysis*


  • Cytochromes
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • NAD
  • Manganese
  • Nitrogenase
  • Glutamate Synthase
  • NADH oxidase
  • NADH, NADPH Oxidoreductases
  • Transaminases
  • Glutamate-Ammonia Ligase
  • Oxygen