SUMMARY: Bacteroids of (strain PRE) isolated from pea root nodules () were separated by sucrose density gradient centrifugation, according to their stage of development from bacteria to mature bacteroids. The DNA content per cell, as measured by cytofluorometry, increased with development. Nitrogenase components in soluble bacteroid proteins were present in highest concentrations in mature bacteroids. The ratio of the amounts of Mo-Fe protein to Fe protein was not constant in different stages of development. Incorporation of SO into soluble bacteroid proteins in the nodule was maximal in the youngest stages. In mature bacteroids nitrogenase was synthesized preferentially although less SO was incorporated into total soluble protein. Nitrogenase activity, measured as ATP- and SO -dependent acetylene reduction by EDTA/toluene treated bacteroids, was high in mature bacteroids and low in the youngest stages.


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