Comparative phylogeny of rrs and nifH genes in the Bacillaceae.
The rrs (16S rDNA) gene sequences of nitrogen-fixing endospore-forming bacilli isolated from the rhizosphere of wheat and maize were determined in order to infer their phylogenetic position in the Bacillaceae. These rhizosphere strains form a monophyletic cluster with Paenibacillus azotofixans, Paenibacillus polymyxa and Paenibacillus macerans. Two of them (RSA19 and TOD45) had previously been identified as Bacillus circulans (group 2) by phenotypic characterization (API 50CH). Evidence for nitrogen fixation by P. azotofixans, P. polymyxa, P. macerans and putative B. circulans strains RSA19 and TOD45 was provided by acetylene-reduction activity, and confirmed by amplifying and sequencing a nifH fragment (370 nt). The phylogenetic tree of nifH-derived amino acid sequences was compared to the phylogenetic tree of rrs sequences. All Paenibacillus nifH sequences formed a coherent cluster distinct from that of related nitrogen-fixing anaerobic clostridia and Gram-positive high-G+C-content frankiae. The nifH gene was neither detected in the B. circulans type strain (ATCC 4513T) nor in the type strains of Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus alcalophilus, Bacillus simplex, Brevibacillus brevis and Paenibacillus validus. Accordingly, nitrogen fixation among aerobic endospore-forming Firmicutes seems to be restricted to a subset of species in the genus Paenibacillus. (+info)
Evidence for involvement of gut-associated denitrifying bacteria in emission of nitrous oxide (N(2)O) by earthworms obtained from garden and forest soils.
Earthworms (Aporrectodea caliginosa, Lumbricus rubellus, and Octolasion lacteum) obtained from nitrous oxide (N(2)O)-emitting garden soils emitted 0.14 to 0.87 nmol of N(2)O h(-1) g (fresh weight)(-1) under in vivo conditions. L. rubellus obtained from N(2)O-emitting forest soil also emitted N(2)O, which confirmed previous observations (G. R. Karsten and H. L. Drake, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 63:1878-1882, 1997). In contrast, commercially obtained Lumbricus terrestris did not emit N(2)O; however, such worms emitted N(2)O when they were fed (i.e., preincubated in) garden soils. A. caliginosa, L. rubellus, and O. lacteum substantially increased the rates of N(2)O emission of garden soil columns and microcosms. Extrapolation of the data to in situ conditions indicated that N(2)O emission by earthworms accounted for approximately 33% of the N(2)O emitted by garden soils. In vivo emission of N(2)O by earthworms obtained from both garden and forest soils was greatly stimulated when worms were moistened with sterile solutions of nitrate or nitrite; in contrast, ammonium did not stimulate in vivo emission of N(2)O. In the presence of nitrate, acetylene increased the N(2)O emission rates of earthworms; in contrast, in the presence of nitrite, acetylene had little or no effect on emission of N(2)O. In vivo emission of N(2)O decreased by 80% when earthworms were preincubated in soil supplemented with streptomycin and tetracycline. On a fresh weight basis, the rates of N(2)O emission of dissected earthworm gut sections were substantially higher than the rates of N(2)O emission of dissected worms lacking gut sections, indicating that N(2)O production occurred in the gut rather than on the worm surface. In contrast to living earthworms and gut sections that produced N(2)O under oxic conditions (i.e., in the presence of air), fresh casts (feces) from N(2)O-emitting earthworms produced N(2)O only under anoxic conditions. Collectively, these results indicate that gut-associated denitrifying bacteria are responsible for the in vivo emission of N(2)O by earthworms and contribute to the N(2)O that is emitted from certain terrestrial ecosystems. (+info)
Diversity in butane monooxygenases among butane-grown bacteria.
Butane monooxygenases of butane-grown Pseudomonas butanovora, Mycobacterium vaccae JOB5, and an environmental isolate, CF8, were compared at the physiological level. The presence of butane monooxygenases in these bacteria was indicated by the following results. (i) O(2) was required for butane degradation. (ii) 1-Butanol was produced during butane degradation. (iii) Acetylene inhibited both butane oxidation and 1-butanol production. The responses to the known monooxygenase inactivator, ethylene, and inhibitor, allyl thiourea (ATU), discriminated butane degradation among the three bacteria. Ethylene irreversibly inactivated butane oxidation by P. butanovora but not by M. vaccae or CF8. In contrast, butane oxidation by only CF8 was strongly inhibited by ATU. In all three strains of butane-grown bacteria, specific polypeptides were labeled in the presence of [(14)C]acetylene. The [(14)C]acetylene labeling patterns were different among the three bacteria. Exposure of lactate-grown CF8 and P. butanovora and glucose-grown M. vaccae to butane induced butane oxidation activity as well as the specific acetylene-binding polypeptides. Ammonia was oxidized by all three bacteria. P. butanovora oxidized ammonia to hydroxylamine, while CF8 and M. vaccae produced nitrite. All three bacteria oxidized ethylene to ethylene oxide. Methane oxidation was not detected by any of the bacteria. The results indicate the presence of three distinct butane monooxygenases in butane-grown P. butanovora, M. vaccae, and CF8. (+info)
Measurement of cardiac output during exercise by open-circuit acetylene uptake.
Noninvasive measurement of cardiac output (QT) is problematic during heavy exercise. We report a new approach that avoids unpleasant rebreathing and resultant changes in alveolar PO(2) or PCO(2) by measuring short-term acetylene (C(2)H(2)) uptake by an open-circuit technique, with application of mass balance for the calculation of QT. The method assumes that alveolar and arterial C(2)H(2) pressures are the same, and we account for C(2)H(2) recirculation by extrapolating end-tidal C(2)H(2) back to breath 1 of the maneuver. We correct for incomplete gas mixing by using He in the inspired mixture. The maneuver involves switching the subject to air containing trace amounts of C(2)H(2) and He; ventilation and pressures of He, C(2)H(2), and CO(2) are measured continuously (the latter by mass spectrometer) for 20-25 breaths. Data from three subjects for whom multiple Fick O(2) measurements of QT were available showed that measurement of QT by the Fick method and by the C(2)H(2) technique was statistically similar from rest to 90% of maximal O(2) consumption (VO(2 max)). Data from 12 active women and 12 elite male athletes at rest and 90% of VO(2 max) fell on a single linear relationship, with O(2) consumption (VO(2)) predicting QT values of 9.13, 15.9, 22.6, and 29.4 l/min at VO(2) of 1, 2, 3, and 4 l/min. Mixed venous PO(2) predicted from C(2)H(2)-determined QT, measured VO(2), and arterial O(2) concentration was approximately 20-25 Torr at 90% of VO(2 max) during air breathing and 10-15 Torr during 13% O(2) breathing. This modification of previous gas uptake methods, to avoid rebreathing, produces reasonable data from rest to heavy exercise in normal subjects. (+info)
Attributes of atmospheric carbon monoxide oxidation by Maine forest soils.
CO, one of the most important trace gases, regulates tropospheric methane, hydroxyl radical, and ozone contents. Ten to 25% of the estimated global CO flux may be consumed by soils annually. Depth profiles for (14)CO oxidation and CO concentration indicated that CO oxidation occurred primarily in surface soils and that photooxidation of soil organic matter did not necessarily contribute significantly to CO fluxes. Kinetic analyses revealed that the apparent K(m) was about 18 nM (17 ppm) and the V(max) was 6.9 micromol g (fresh weight)(-1) h(-1); the apparent K(m) was similar to the apparent K(m) for atmospheric methane consumption, but the V(max) was more than 100 times higher. Atmospheric CO oxidation responded sensitively to soil water regimes; decreases in water content in initially saturated soils resulted in increased uptake, and optimum uptake occurred at water contents of 30 to 60%. However, extended drying led to decreased uptake and net CO production. Rewetting could restore CO uptake, albeit with a pronounced hysteresis. The responses to changing temperatures indicated that the optimum temperature for net uptake was between 20 and 25 degrees C and that there was a transition to net production at temperatures above 30 degrees C. The responses to methyl fluoride and acetylene indicated that populations other than ammonia oxidizers and methanotrophs must be involved in forest soils. The response to acetylene was notable, since the strong initial inhibition was reversed after 12 h of incubation; in contrast, methyl fluoride did not have an inhibitory effect. Ammonium did not inhibit CO uptake; the level of nitrite inhibition was initially substantial, but nitrite inhibition was reversible over time. Nitrite inhibition appeared to occur through indirect effects based on abiological formation of NO. (+info)
Noninvasive cardiac output measurement in orthostasis: pulse contour analysis compared with acetylene rebreathing.
We tested the reliability of noninvasive cardiac output (CO) measurement in different body positions by pulse contour analysis (CO(pc)) by using a transmission line model (K. H. Wesseling, B. De Wit, J. A. P. Weber, and N. T. Smith. Adv. Cardiol. Phys. 5, Suppl. II: 16-52, 1983). Acetylene rebreathing (CO(rebr)) was used as a reference method. Twelve subjects (age 21-34 yr) were studied: 1) six in whom CO(rebr) and CO(pc) were measured in the standing and 6 degrees head-down tilt (HDT) postures and 2) six in whom CO was measured in the 30 degrees HDT, supine, 30 degrees head up-tilt (HUT), and 70 degrees HUT postures on a tilt table. The CO(rebr)-to-CO(pc) ratio in (near) the supine position during rebreathing was used as the calibration factor for CO(pc) measurements. Calibrated CO(pc) (CO(cal sup)) consistently overestimated CO in the upright posture. The drop in CO with upright posture was underestimated by approximately 50%. CO(cal sup) and CO(rebr) values did not differ in the 30 degrees HDT position. Changes in the CO(rebr)-to-CO(pc) ratio are highly variable among subjects in response to a change in posture. Therefore, CO(pc) must be recalibrated for each subject in each posture. (+info)
Two forms of nitrogenase from the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum.
Acetylene reduction by nitrogenase from Rhodospirillum rubrum, unlike that by other nitrogenases, was recently found by other investigators to require an activation of the iron protein of nitrogenase by an activating system comprising a chromatophore membrane component, adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP), and divalent metal ions. In an extension of this work, we observed that the same activating system was also required for nitrogenase-linked H(2) evolution. However, we found that, depending on their nitrogen nutrition regime, R. rubrum cells produced two forms of nitrogenase that differed in their Fe protein components. Cells whose nitrogen supply was totally exhausted before harvest yielded predominantly a form of nitrogenase (A) whose enzymatic activity was not governed by the activating system, whereas cells supplied up to harvest time with N(2) or glutamate yielded predominantly a form of nitrogenase (R) whose enzymatic activity was regulated by the activating system. An unexpected finding was the rapid (less than 10 min in some cases) intracellular conversion of nitrogenase A to nitrogenase R brought about by the addition to nitrogen-starved cells of glutamine, asparagine, or, particularly, ammonia. This finding suggests that mechanisms other than de novo protein synthesis were involved in the conversion of nitrogenase A to the R form. The molecular weights of the Fe protein and Mo-Fe protein components from nitrogenases A and R were the same. However, nitrogenase A appeared to be larger in size, because it had more Fe protein units per Mo-Fe protein than did nitrogenase R. A distinguishing property of the Fe protein from nitrogenase R was its ATP requirement. When combined with the Mo-Fe protein (from either nitrogenase A or nitrogenase R), the R form of Fe protein required a lower ATP concentration but bound or utilized more ATP molecules during acetylene reduction than did the A form of Fe protein. No differences between the Fe proteins from the two forms of nitrogenase were found in the electron paramagnetic resonance spectrum, midpoint oxidation-reduction potential, or sensitivity to iron chelators. (+info)
Measurement in vivo of hydrogenase-catalysed hydrogen evolution in the presence of nitrogenase enzyme in cyanobacteria.
A method was devised that allows measurement in vivo of hydrogenase-catalysed H2 evolution from the cyanobacterium Anabaena cylindrica, independent of nitrogenase activity, which is also present. Addition of low concentrations of reduced Methyl Viologen (1-10mM) to intact heterocystous filaments of the organism resulted in H2 evolution, but produced conditions giving total inhibition of nitrogenase (acetylene-reducing and H2-evolving) activity. That the H2 formed under these conditions was not contributed to by nitrogenase was also supported by the observation that its rate of formation was similar in the dark or with Ar replaced by N2 in the gas phase, and also in view of the pattern of H2 evolution at very low Methyl Viologen concentrations. Conclusive evidence that the H2 formed in the presence of Methyl Viologen was solely hydrogenase-mediated was its evolution even from nitrogenase-free (non-heterocystous) cultures; by contrast 'uptake' hydrogenase activity in such cultures was greatly decreased. The hydrogenase activity was inhibited by CO and little affected by acetylene. Finally the hydrogenase activity was shown to be relatively constant at different stages during the batch growth of the organism, as opposed to nitrogenase activity, which varied. (+info)