1887

Abstract

sp. strain PCC 7120 ( PCC 7120) is a filamentous, nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium. Upon deprivation of combined nitrogen, about 5–10 % of the cells become heterocysts, i.e. cells devoted to N fixation. Heterocysts are intercalated among vegetative cells and distributed in a semi-regular pattern, and adjacent heterocysts are rarely observed. Previously, we showed that the cell cycle could play a regulatory function during heterocyst development, although the mechanism involved remains unknown. As a further step to understand this phenomenon, we identified the region for chromosomal DNA replication, located between and . The region of PCC 7120 was able to support the self-replication of a plasmid in the unicellular cyanobacterium sp. PCC 6803. Surprisingly, integration of the region into the chromosome of PCC 7120 through homologous recombination led to much slower cell growth in the absence of a combined-nitrogen source and to multiple contiguous proheterocysts after prolonged incubation. Real-time RT-PCR showed that expression of two heterocyst-related genes, and , was altered in these strains: expression remained high 48 h after induction, and increased to high levels after induction for 12 h. These results suggest that the balance between and DnaA could be important for heterocyst development.

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2011-07-01
2019-10-14
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