Nicotinate catabolism is dispensable and nicotinate anabolism is crucial in Azorhizobium caulinodans growing in batch culture and chemostat culture on N2 as The N source

A.F. Pronk, A.H. Stouthamer, H W Van Verseveld, F C Boogerd

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


When Azorhizobium caulinodans was grown in chemostat cultures with N2 as the N source at a constant dilution rate of 0.1 h-1 in media with a constant concentration (50 mM) of succinate and variable concentrations (1.5 to 585 microM) of nicotinate, neither the growth yield on succinate, the specific rate of O2 consumption, nor the specific rate of CO2 production showed linear regression with the concentration of nicotinate. Moreover, for transient continuous cultures in which the nicotinate concentration was gradually lowered, growth parameters remained unchanged until an apparently critical level of 0.7 microM nicotinate was reached. Below this nicotinate level, an immediate washout of the chemostat population began. A. caulinodans nicotinate hydroxylase-negative mutant 61007, unable to catabolize nicotinate, and the wild type behaved similarly. Thus, for continuous cultures supplied with N2 as the N source, submicromolar concentrations of nicotinate both sustained pyridine nucleotide biosynthesis at sufficient levels and precluded the use of nicotinate as a catabolic substrate. Furthermore, when more nicotinate was provided, dual succinate-nicotinate limitation in continuous cultures did not occur. Finally, when nicotinate is present in suboptimal concentrations, the specific growth rate is directly proportional to the amount of nicotinate present per unit of biomass. By contrast, in batch cultures with different nicotinate concentrations and with either succinate or lactate as the carbon and energy source, anomalous growth curves were obtained. With a low concentration (1.5 microM) of nicotinate, growth on N2 occurred, albeit at low rates. With a high concentration (195 microM) of nicotinate, growth on N2 was temporarily stimulated, but nicotinate was quickly exhausted and growth was thereafter nicotinate limited. Continuous supplementation of batch cultures with nicotinate allowed only transient exponential growth followed by linear growth. Thus, also for batch cultures, nicotinate catabolism is dispensable, although a high concentration of nicotinate temporarily stimulates growth on N2. Ut us concluded that A. caulinodans is a true diazotroph.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1995


  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Culture Media
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Lactates
  • Lactic Acid
  • Niacin
  • Nitrogen
  • Nitrogenase
  • Rhizobiaceae
  • Succinates
  • Succinic Acid
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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