1887

Abstract

The (all0187) gene of the filamentous cyanobacterium () sp. strain PCC 7120 is predicted to be part of a family of proteins that contain the LytR-CpsA-Psr domain associated with septum formation and cell wall maintenance. The gene was originally misannotated as a transcription regulator. Northern RNA blot analysis showed that expression was upregulated 8 h after nitrogen step-down. Fluorescence microscopy of a P reporter strain revealed increased GFP fluorescence in proheterocysts and heterocysts beginning 9 h after nitrogen step-down. Insertional inactivation of caused a septum-formation defect of vegetative cells grown in nitrate-containing medium. In nitrate-free medium, mutant filaments formed abnormally long heterocysts and were defective for diazotrophic growth. Septum formation between heterocysts and adjacent vegetative cells was abnormal, often with one or both poles of the heterocysts appearing partially open. In a mutant, expression of was delayed after nitrogen step-down and nitrogenase activity was approximately 70 % of wild-type activity, indicating that heterocysts of the mutant strain are partially functional. We hypothesize that the diazotrophic growth defect is caused by an inability of the heterocysts to transport fixed nitrogen to the neighbouring vegetative cells.

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2011-03-01
2019-10-17
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