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Characterization of nitrogen-fixing moderate halophilic cyanobacteria isolated from saline soils of Songnen Plain in China

Keywords: Songnen Plain of China,Nitrogenase activity,Salt tolerance,Filamentous and globular cyanobacteria

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Abstract:

Twenty out of 200 isolates of cyanobacteria mainly from saline soils of Songnen Plain of China were successfully grown on BG11 N-free medium. The nitrogen-fixing activity was then demonstrated for the twenty isolates in modified BG11 medium using the acetylene reduction assay. All of them possessed appreciable nitrogenase activity (acetylene reduction) under non-saline conditions; however, at 5 % NaCl only 60 % of the isolates exhibited a high rate of this activity and 25 % were completely negative under these conditions. The cyanobacteria isolates grew well in BG11 medium; nevertheless, growth of the majority of isolates was reduced by about 25%-85% in the same medium containing 5% NaCl. Cellulolytic activity was detected in 50% of the twenty strains, amylolytic in 45%, and pectinolytic in 10% of the isolates. The cyanobacteria isolates showed also enzymeatic activity under saline conditions (6%). The preliminary identification indicated that seven isolates were Nostoc, two were Microcystis, four were Oscillatoria, six were Anabaena, and one isolate was Synechococcus.

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