Mar 16, 2017

Diversity and Activity of Alternative Nitrogenases in Sequenced Genomes and Coastal Environments

Frontiers in Microbiology
Darcy L McRoseFrançois M M Morel

Abstract

The nitrogenase enzyme, which catalyzes the reduction of N2 gas to NH4(+), occurs as three separate isozyme that use Mo, Fe-only, or V. The majority of global nitrogen fixation is attributed to the more efficient 'canonical' Mo-nitrogenase, whereas Fe-only and V-('alternative') nitrogenases are often considered 'backup' enzymes, used when Mo is limiting. Yet, the environmental distribution and diversity of alternative nitrogenases remains largely unknown. We searched for alternative nitrogenase genes in sequenced genomes and used PacBio sequencing to explore the diversity of canonical (nifD) and alternative (anfD and vnfD) nitrogenase amplicons in two coastal environments: the Florida Everglades and Sippewissett Marsh (MA). Genome-based searches identified an additional 25 species and 10 genera not previously known to encode alternative nitrogenases. Alternative nitrogenase amplicons were found in both Sippewissett Marsh and the Florida Everglades and their activity was further confirmed using newly developed isotopic techniques. Conserved amino acid sequences corresponding to cofactor ligands were also analyzed in anfD and vnfD amplicons, offering insight into environmental variants of these motifs. This study increases the nu...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Study
Genome
Nitrogen Fixation
Genes
Enzymes, antithrombotic
Environment
D-MA
Ammonium
Sequencing
Enzymes for Treatment of Wounds and Ulcers

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