Research Papers


, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 234-238

First online:

The nutritional selectivity of a siderophore-catabolizing bacterium

  • Rosemary DeAngelisAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Loyola University of ChicagoDepartment of Internal Medicine, The University of Chicago Medical Center
  • , Michelle ForsythAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Loyola University of Chicago
  • , Domenic CastignettiAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Loyola University of Chicago

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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.


deferrioxamine B nutritional selectivity rhodotorulic acid siderophore catabolism