1887

Abstract

The establishment of non-diazotrophic cultures of the filamentous marine cyanobacterium IMS101 enabled the first detailed investigation of the process leading to the development of its unique nitrogen-fixing cell type, the diazocyte. Trichome heterogeneity was apparent already within 3–8 h, while the differentiation of mature diazocytes, containing the nitrogenase enzyme, required 27 h after the removal of combined nitrogen. The distribution of ‘pro-diazocytes’ within the trichomes correlates with the localization of mature diazocytes, which suggests that pattern regulation is an early event during diazocyte development. The development was initially identified as changes in the subcellular ultrastructure, most notably the degradation of glycogen granules and gas vacuoles. These changes were preceded by the induced expression of the global nitrogen regulator at an early stage of combined nitrogen deprivation, followed by elevated expression of genes related to nitrogen metabolism and their corresponding proteins. The strongest induction (10-fold) was related to the transcription of the respiratory gene , apparent already at an early stage, which suggests an important role for respiration and the subsequent energy generation in the subcellular changes found, and in the creation of the reducing environment required for nitrogen fixation in diazocytes.

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2012-02-01
2021-08-04
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