The molybdenum- and iron-containing protein components of nitrogenase purified from Klebsiella pneumoniae, Azotobacter vinelandii, Azotobacter chroococcum and Rhizobium japonicum bacteroids all gave either one or two protein-staining bands after sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis, depending on the commercial brand of sodium dodecyl sulphate used. The single band obtained with K. pneumoniae Mo-Fe protein when some commercial brands of sodium dodecyl sulphate were used in the preparation of the electrode buffer was resolved into two bands by the addition of 0.01% (v/v) dodecanol to the buffer. Protein extracted from the two bands obtained after electrophoresis of K. pneumoniae Mo-Fe protein gave unique and distinct peptide ‘maps’ after tryptic digestion. Undissociated Mo-Fe protein contained both sets of tryptic peptides. These data are consistent with Mo-Fe protein from K. pneumoniae being composed of non-identical subunits. Amino acid analyses of the subunit proteins revealed some clear differences in amino acid content, but the two subunits showed close compositional relatedness, with a different index [Metzer, H., Shapiro, M.B., Mosiman, J.E. & Vinton, J.G. (1968) Nature (London) 219, 1166-1168] of 4.7.

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