Summary: A comparative study was made of the growth and nitrogen fixation of nickel-depleted and nickel-supplemented cultures of the cyanobacterium . Four sets of growth conditions were used, involving both dark light and continuous light regimes, anaerobic and aerobic conditions, light limitation and supplementation of the gas phase with hydrogen. In each case nickel-containing cells had an active hydrogen uptake capacity whereas nickel-depleted cells did not. These differences in hydrogenase activities did not correlate with differences in acetylene reduction and growth rates, or fixed nitrogen, phycocyanin or chlorophyll contents. It is concluded that under the growth conditions used the capacity of cells to consume hydrogen gas confers no advantage to the organisms in terms of their growth rates and nitrogen fixation.


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