Cultures of sp. ATCC 27152 did not reduce acetylene when exposed to O concentrations greater than 0.7 atm. However, following exposure to 1 atm O for up to 12 h or to 0.8 atm O for up to 14 d, the ability to reduce acetylene recovered rapidly when cultures were returned to air. Complete recovery required active protein synthesis, probably for synthesis of nitrogenase. Respiratory O consumption by cultures of was stimulated under elevated concentrations of O. This respiration may contribute to the protection of nitrogenase from inactivation by O at concentrations up to 0.4 atm. The role of Ca in nitrogen fixation may be related to respiratory protection.


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