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Keywords:

  • Periplasmic nitrate reductase;
  • Nitrate reduction;
  • Tungstate;
  • Escherichia coli nitrate reduction

Abstract

Escherichia coli strain LCB2048 is a double mutant defective in the synthesis of the two membrane-associated nitrate reductases A and Z. This strain can grow anaerobically on a non-fermentable carbon source, glycerol, in the presence of nitrate even in media supplemented with high concentrations of tungstate. This growth was totally dependent upon a highly active, periplasmic nitrate reductase (Nap). Due to the presence of a previously unreported narL mutation, synthesis of the periplasmic nitrate reductase by this strain was induced during anaerobic growth by nitrate. We have also demonstrated that methyl viologen is an ineffective electron donor to Nap: its use leads to an underestimation of the contribution of Nap activity to the rate of nitrate reduction in vivo.