A nitrogen-fixing bacterium, Azotobacter chroococcum, was immobilized in 2% agar gel. The optimum partial oxygen pressure, pO2, of immobilized cells was 0.2 atm, wherea s that of native cells was 0.05 atm. When continual nitrogen fixation was performed under aerobic conditions, the nitrogenase activity of immobilized cells increased with increasing time. On the other hand, the activity of native cells decreased rapidly. Increase of nitrogenase activity was attributed to growth of the bacteria in the gel matrix. The production rate of total nitrogen compounds by the immobilized bacteria was also increased during the first 4 days. Nitrogen compounds produced by the immobilized cells were mainly amino acids such as γ-aminobutyrate, glutamate and arginine.
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