Sedimentable hydrogenase activity was demonstrated in cell-free extracts from both zoospores and vegetative growth of the anaerobic rumen fungus Neocallimastix patriciarum. Electron micrographs of the fraction enriched in hydrogenase activity contained finely granular microbody-like organelles, about 0.5 micron in diameter and having an equilibrium density of about 1.2 g X ml-1 in sucrose, 1.12 g X ml-1 in Percoll and 1.27-1.28 g X ml-1 in Metrizamide. These organelles, which are sedimentable at 10(5) g-min, bear no similarity to mitochondria, but are morphologically similar to hydrogen-evolving organelles possessed by certain anaerobic protozoa and termed ‘hydrogenosomes’. Other typical hydrogenosomal enzymes, namely ‘malic’ enzyme, pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase and NADPH:ferredoxin oxidoreductase, were enriched in the same particle fraction as hydrogenase. The synthesis of pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase was found to be suppressed when the organism was cultured under an atmosphere of CO2, and an alternative pathway is proposed for growth under these conditions.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.