, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 369-374

First online:

Marine Siderophores and Microbial Iron Mobilization

  • Alison ButlerAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California Email author 

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Iron is essential for the growth of nearly all microorganisms yet iron is only sparingly soluble near the neutral pH, aerobic conditions in which many microorganisms grow. The pH of ocean water is even higher, thereby further lowering the concentration of dissolved ferric ion. To compound the problem of availability, the total iron concentration is surprisingly low in surface ocean water, yet nevertheless, marine microorganisms still require iron for growth. Like terrestrial bacterial, bacteria isolated from open ocean water often produce siderophores, which are low molecular weight chelating ligands that facilitate the microbial acquisition of iron. The present review summarizes the structures of siderophores produced by marine bacteria and the emerging characteristics that distinguish marine siderophores.

Key words

Photoreactive amphiphilic marine siderophores