Electron Transfer to Nitrogenase in Different Genomic and Metabolic Backgrounds

Journal of Bacteriology
Saroj PoudelEric S Boyd


Nitrogenase catalyzes the reduction of dinitrogen (N2) using low-potential electrons from ferredoxin (Fd) or flavodoxin (Fld) through an ATP-dependent process. Since its emergence in an anaerobic chemoautotroph, this oxygen (O2)-sensitive enzyme complex has evolved to operate in a variety of genomic and metabolic backgrounds, including those of aerobes, anaerobes, chemotrophs, and phototrophs. However, whether pathways of electron delivery to nitrogenase are influenced by these different metabolic backgrounds is not well understood. Here, we report the distribution of homologs of Fds, Flds, and Fd-/Fld-reducing enzymes in 359 genomes of putative N2 fixers (diazotrophs). Six distinct lineages of nitrogenase were identified, and their distributions largely corresponded to differences in the host cells' ability to integrate O2 or light into energy metabolism. The predicted pathways of electron transfer to nitrogenase in aerobes, facultative anaerobes, and phototrophs varied from those in anaerobes at the levels of Fds/Flds used to reduce nitrogenase, the enzymes that generate reduced Fds/Flds, and the putative substrates of these enzymes. Proteins that putatively reduce Fd with hydrogen or pyruvate were enriched in anaerobes, whil...Continue Reading


May 1, 2018·Environmental Microbiology·Kathryn R FixenCaroline S Harwood
Apr 17, 2019·Life·Rafael Pernil, Enrico Schleiff
Mar 16, 2019·The ISME Journal·Elizabeth M FonesEric S Boyd
Aug 24, 2019·MicrobiologyOpen·Lisa DemtröderB Masepohl
Dec 18, 2019·Nature Microbiology·Min-Hyung RyuChristopher A Voigt
Aug 21, 2018·Frontiers in Microbiology·Saroj PoudelEric S Boyd
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