Effect of the siderophore alcaligin E on the bioavailability of Cd to Alcaligenes eutrophus CH34

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Alcaligin E, the siderophore of the heavy metal-resistant A. eutrophus strain CH34, was shown to interact with Cd and consequently affect its bioavailability and toxicity. The addition of alcaligin E markedly stimulated the growth in the presence of Cd of an alcaligin E-deficient CH34 derivative. Using bioluminescence assays, this effect could be assigned to a decrease in bioavailability of Cd in the presence of alcaligin E. However, Cd-uptake studies showed no influence of alcaligin E on the cellular concentration of Cd. Furthermore, by scanning electron microscopy, the morphology of precipitated Cd crystals was shown to be altered by alcaligin E. These data suggest that alcaligin E, besides its function in iron supply to the cell, provides a protection against heavy metal toxicity. A link between the A. eutrophus CH34 siderophore system and the czc-mediated Cd-efflux system is hypothesized.

Received 19 June 1997/ Accepted in revised form 14 October 1997