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Expression analysis of nitrogenase genes in rhodobacter sphaeroides o.u.001 grown under different physiological conditions

Akköse, Sevilay
Hydrogen has an extensive potential as a clean and renewable energy source. Photosynthetic, non-sulphur, purple bacteria, Rhodobacter sphaeroides O.U.001 produces molecular hydrogen by nitrogenase enzyme. Nitrogenase enzyme is encoded by nifHDK genes and expression of the structural genes, nifHDK, is controlled by NifA which is encoded by nifA gene. The transcription of nifA is under the control of Ntr system and product of prrA gene. Relationship between the genes that have roles in nitrogenase synthesis should be understood well to increase biological hydrogen production. In this work, expression levels of nitrogenase encoding nifH and control genes nifA, prrA were examined at different physiological conditions. In addition to modifications in expression levels, changes in hydrogen production and growth capacity were also investigated in response to different concentrations of ammonium source, oxygen and different light intensities. In this study, it was found that increasing concentrations of ammonium chloride caused decrease in hydrogen production. Glutamate containing medium had the capacity for higher hydrogen production. The expression levels of nifH and nifA genes decreased with the increase in concentrations of ammonium chloride. There was a negative correlation between the expression levels of prrA gene and its target, nifA gene. Hydrogen production was observed even in aerobic conditions of the same media compositions. It was observed that different culture media had changing growth and hydrogen production capabilities at different light intensities. There was no direct proportion between the expression levels of nifH gene and amount of hydrogen at different light intensities.