, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 234-238

The nutritional selectivity of a siderophore-catabolizing bacterium

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The ability of a siderophore-catabolizing bacterium to assimilate ferric ion was examined. While the bacterium utilizes the siderophore deferrioxamine B (DFB) as a carbon source, it was incapable of using the ferricion analogue (ferrioxamine B) as an iron source. It did, however, assimilate the ferric ion of the chelator ferric nitrilotriacetic acid and of the siderophore ferrirhodotorulic acid (ferriRA). Neither ferriRA nor its deferrated analog (RA), however, were capable of functioning as carbon sources for the bacterium. The microbe thus employs a ‘nutritional selectivity’ with respect to these two siderophores. That is, it does not use the siderophore it employs as a carbon source (DFB) as an iron source nor does the siderophore utilized as an iron source, i.e. ferriRA, nor its deferrated analog (RA), serve as carbon sources for the organism.

This paper is dedicated to the memory of Professor Thomas Emery. Professor Emery was instrumental in giving support and advice at a time when such mentorship greatly aided the corresponding author in developing a program concerning the catabolism of siderophores by microbes.