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Nitrate Reduction and the Growth of Veillonella alcalescens

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  • Physiology And Metabolism
  • Biology


Veillonella alcalescens, a strict anaerobe, was found to possess a nitrate reductase system which has characteristics of both assimilatory and respiratory nitrate reduction. The nitrate reductase has been identified tentatively as a particulate enzyme which utilizes a variety of electron donors for the reduction of nitrate. By use of 15N-labeled nitrate, it was shown that under appropriate conditions nitrate nitrogen is incorporated into cell material. V. alcalescens grown on pyruvate and nitrate has a greater growth rate than cells grown on pyruvate alone. Growth can occur in a medium with hydrogen and nitrate as the sole energy source. Ammonium chloride decreases the rate of nitrate reduction but does not completely inhibit reduction or incorporation. The results suggest that nitrate assimilation and respiration are not as distinct as in some other organisms.

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