Transcription of the genes encoding molybdenum (Mo)-independent nitrogenases 2 and 3 of Azotobacter vinelandii requires the activators VnfA and AnfA, respectively. The effect of NH4+, Mo, or V (vanadium) was tested on the expression of vnfA-lacZ and anfA-lacZ transcriptional fusions. Mo repressed expression of both fusions whereas NH4+ and V repressed the anfA-lacZ fusion, but not the vnfA-lacZ fusion. Thus the repressive effect on transcription of the anfHDGKOR operon by NH4+, Mo, or V is mediated through their effect on transcription of anfA and the repressive effect of Mo on the vnfHFd and vnfDGK operons is mediated through Mo repression of vnfA transcription. Mo-dependent repression of anfA transcription is influenced but not entirely mediated by the Mo-responsive regulator ModE.