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Influence of amino acids on nitrogen fixation ability and growth of Azospirillum spp.

By A Hartmann, H A Fu and R H Burris


The utilization of amino acids for growth and their effects on nitrogen fixation differ greatly among the several strains of each species of Azospirillum spp. that were examined. A. brasiliense grew poorly or not at all on glutamate, aspartate, serine, or histidine as the sole nitrogen and carbon sources. Nitrogen fixation by most A. brasiliense strains was inhibited only slightly even by 10 mM concentrations of these amino acids. In contrast, A. lipoferum and A. amazonense grew very well on glutamate, aspartate, serine, or histidine as the sole nitrogen and carbon sources; nitrogen fixation, which was measured in the presence of malate or sucrose, was severely inhibited by these amino acids. It was concluded that growth on histidine as the sole source of nitrogen, carbon, and energy may be used for the taxonomic characterization of Azospirillum spp. and for the selective isolation of A. lipoferum. The different utilization of various amino acids by Azospirillum spp. may be important for their establishment in the rhizosphere and for their associative nitrogen fixation with plants. The physiological basis for the different utilization of glutamate by Azospirillum spp. was investigated further. A. brasiliense and A. lipoferum exhibited a high affinity for glutamate uptake (Km values for uptake were 8 and 40 microM, respectively); the Vmax was 6 times higher in A. lipoferum than in A. brasiliense. At high substrate concentrations (10 mM), the nonsaturable component of glutamate uptake was most active in A. lipoferum and A. amazonense.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1988
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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