Effect of long-term ammonia starvation on the oxidation of ammonia and hydroxylamine by Nitrosomonas europaea

Ralf Wilhelm, Aharon Abeliovich, Ali Nejidat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Axenic cultures of the ammonia-oxidizing bacterium Nitrosomonas europaea were starved of ammonia (energy source) for up to 342 d. During this time the bacteria retained the ability to respond instantly to ammonia (1 mM) or hydroxylamine (0.1 mM) amendment by oxidizing it to nitrite without initial protein synthesis. In vivo, the ability to oxidize amended ammonia stayed almost constant during the starvation period, but a drop in the hydroxylamine oxidation rate (to 33%) was observed after 4 wk of starvation when exogenous hydroxylamine was supplied as sole energy source. In contrast, it has been shown that the level and in vitro activity of hydroxylamine oxidoreductase were not significantly affected during the starvation period. Only minor changes were detected between the protein patterns on one-dimensional SDS-PAGE of growing and starved cells. Thus, it is concluded that the activities of the energy-generating enzymes in N. europaea were not affected during long-term ammonia starvation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-815
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1998


  • Ammonia and hydroxylamine oxidation
  • Ammonia starvation
  • Hydroxylamine oxidoreductase
  • Nitrosomonas europaea


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of long-term ammonia starvation on the oxidation of ammonia and hydroxylamine by <i>Nitrosomonas europaea</i>'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this