SUMMARY: FeCI labelling and non-denaturing gel electrophoresis were used to study nitrogenase synthesis in sp. CCAP 1430/3. Nitrogenase synthesis was inhibited by addition of NHX but was unaffected by elevated concentrations of O. Upon transfer of cultures of from light to darkness, there was initially a slight decrease in the rate of synthesis of nitrogenase but after 4-5 h there was an almost complete cessation of synthesis. This delayed effect of darkness on nitrogenase synthesis could not be related to any change in RNA synthesis, in protein synthesis or in the rate of breakdown of storage glucan.

In cultures of mRNA, including mRNA, was unstable, having a half-life of about 5 min. The synthesis of mRNA did not stop immediately upon transfer of cultures to the dark. If darkness exerts its effect on nitrogenase synthesis by inhibiting the synthesis of mRNA, it does so only after a lag of about 4 h.


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