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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Detection and characterization of cyanobacterial nifH genes.

The DNA sequence of a 359-bp fragment of nifH was determined for the heterocystous strains Anabaena sp. strain CA (ATCC 33047), Nostoc muscorum UTEX 1933, a Nostoc sp., Gloeothece sp. strain ATCC 27152, Lyngbya lagerheimii UTEX 1930, and Plectonema boryanum IU 594. Results confirmed that the DNA sequence of the 359-bp segment is sufficiently variable to distinguish cyanobacterial nifH genes from other eubacterial and arachaeobacterial nifH genes, as well as to distinguish heterocystous from nonheterocystous nifH genes. Nonheterocystous cyanobacterial nifH sequences were greater than 70 and 82% identical on the DNA and amino acid levels, respectively, whereas corresponding values for heterocystous cyanobacterial nifH sequences were 84 and 91%. The amplified nifH fragments can be used as DNA probes to differentiate between species, although there was substantial cross-reactivity between the nifH amplification products of some strains. However, an oligonucleotide designed from a sequence conserved within the heterocystous cyanobacteria hybridized primarily with the amplification product from heterocystous strains. The use of oligonucleotides designed from amplified nifH sequences shows great promise for characterizing assemblages of diazotrophs.[1]


  1. Detection and characterization of cyanobacterial nifH genes. Ben-Porath, J., Zehr, J.P. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (1994) [Pubmed]
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