Pyruvate and ethanol were both effective electron donors for nitrite reduction by K12. The pyruvate-dependent rate decreased by approximately 50% when either a mutation, which results in loss of NADH-dependent nitrite reductase activity (EC, or a mutation, which results in loss of the formate-nitrite oxidoreductase activity, was introduced into the prototrophic parental strain CGSC4315. A double mutant deficient in both of these previously described activities retained only 2% of the rate of nitrite reduction of the parental strain after growth on glucose or 5% after growth on pyruvate. We conclude that any third pathway for nitrite reduction contributes little to the rate of nitrite reduction by wild-type strains.


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