, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 605–613 | Cite as

Coupled biogeochemical cycling of iron and manganese as mediated by microbial siderophores

  • Owen W. DuckworthEmail author
  • John R. Bargar
  • Garrison Sposito


Siderophores, biogenic chelating agents that facilitate Fe(III) uptake through the formation of strong complexes, also form strong complexes with Mn(III) and exhibit high reactivity with Mn (hydr)oxides, suggesting a pathway by which Mn may disrupt Fe uptake. In this review, we evaluate the major biogeochemical mechanisms by which Fe and Mn may interact through reactions with microbial siderophores: competition for a limited pool of siderophores, sorption of siderophores and metal–siderophore complexes to mineral surfaces, and competitive metal-siderophore complex formation through parallel mineral dissolution pathways. This rich interweaving of chemical processes gives rise to an intricate tapestry of interactions, particularly in respect to the biogeochemical cycling of Fe and Mn in marine ecosystems.


Dissolution Ligand exchange Sorption Siderophore Iron Manganese 



We thank Greg Dick, Sara Holmström, Stephan Kraemer, Jim Morgan, Dorothy Parker, Jasquelin Peña, Lauren Saal, Alan Stone, Tom Spiro, Brad Tebo, and Sam Webb for thoughtful discussions. OWD thanks the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service for support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Owen W. Duckworth
    • 1
    Email author
  • John R. Bargar
    • 2
  • Garrison Sposito
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Soil ScienceNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Stanford Synchrotron Radiation LightsourceMenlo ParkUSA
  3. 3.Division of Ecosystem SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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