Nucleotide sequence and mutagenesis of the nifA gene from Azotobacter vinelandii.
The nucleotide sequence of the nifA gene from Azotobacter vinelandii was determined. This gene encodes an Mr = 58,100 polypeptide that shares significant sequence identity when compared to nifA-encoded products from other organisms. Interspecies comparisons of nifA-encoded products reveal that they all have a consensus ATP binding site and a consensus DNA binding site in highly conserved regions of the respective polypeptides. The nifA gene immediately precedes the nifB-nifQ gene region but is unlinked to the major nif gene cluster from A. vinelandii. A potential regulatory gene precedes and is apparently cotranscribed with nifA. Mutant strains that have a deletion or a deletion plus an insertion within nifA are incapable of diazotrophic growth and they fail to accumulate nitrogenase structural gene products.