Two filamentous, nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria were examined for their salt tolerance and sodium (Na+) transport.Anabaena torulosa, a saline form, grew efficiently and fixed nitrogen even at 150 mM salt (NaCl) concentration while,Anabaena L-31, a fresh water cyanobacterium, failed to grow beyond 35 mM NaCl.Anabaena torulosa showed a rapidly saturating kinetics of Na+ transport with a high affinity for Na+(Km, 0.3 mM).Anabaena L-31 had a much lower affinity for Na+(Km, 2.8 mM) thanAnabaena torulosa and the pattern of uptake was somewhat different. BothAnabaena spp. exhibited an active Na+ extrusion which seems to be mediated by a Na+-K+ ATPase and aided by oxidative phosphorylation.Anabaena L-31 was found to retain much more intracellular Na+ thanAnabaena torulosa. The results suggest that the saline form tolerates high Na+ concentrations by curtailing its influx and also by an efficient Na+ extrusion, although these alone may not entirely account for its success in saline environment.
Volume 46, 2021
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