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Study of biological fixation of molecular nitrogen


, : Study of biological fixation of molecular nitrogen. Biokhimiya 30(6): 1167-1178

Fractions of cell-free preparations of Azotobacter vinelandii obtained by differential centrifugation following cell disintegration with lysozyme and in a mechanical disintegrator were investigated. The morphological constitution of the fractions and the localization of tetrazolium-reductase activity (using nitroblue-tetraaolium) were studied with the electron microscope. Nitrogen fixation, teraaolium-reductase, and hydrogenase activity of the fractions, as well as the effect of molecular N on the reduction of neotetrazolium-chloride were measured. Fractions sedi-mented at 8000 and 21,000 g and exhibiting a high N-fixation activity contain membranous structures, which according to a cytochemical and morphological data, may prove to be mitochondria on their fragments. The reduction of tetrazolim both by intact cells and mitochondrial fragments is inhibited by molecular N. N-fixation by Azotobacter may take place in the mitochondria.

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