Flavin-Mediated Photoreduction of Nitrate by Nitrate Reductase of Higher Plants and Microorganisms

  • W. G. Zumft
  • F. Castillo
  • K. M. Hartmann
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


Nitrate reductase (EC– is the key enzyme in nitrate assimilation by plants and many microorganisms. It is a high molecular weight complex of yet-to-be defined structure which contains as electron transfer groups FAD, cytochrome b-557, and a molybdenum cofactor [1]. The enzyme is usually assayed with one of the following electron donors: (1) reduced pyridine nucleotides, (2) dithionite-reduced flavins, or (3) dithionite-reduced bipyridylium salts. Both dithionite [2] and reduced pyridine nucleotides [3] interfere, however, with the synthesis of the azo dye which is used almost exclusively for analysis of the reaction product, nitrite [4]. To circumvent these difficulties reduction of methyl viologen by hydrogen via hydrogenase may be used, but requires an auxiliary enzyme and does not simplify the assay procedure [5].


Nitrate Reductase Methyl Viologen Molybdenum Cofactor High Molecular Weight Complex Nitrite Formation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. G. Zumft
    • 1
  • F. Castillo
    • 1
  • K. M. Hartmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für BotanikUniversität Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany

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