, 23:129 | Cite as

Temporal production of the two Bacillus anthracis siderophores, petrobactin and bacillibactin

  • Melissa K. Wilson
  • Rebecca J. Abergel
  • Jean E. L. Arceneaux
  • Kenneth N. Raymond
  • B. Rowe ByersEmail author


Bacillus anthracis secretes two siderophores, petrobactin (PB) and bacillibactin (BB). These siderophores were temporally produced during germination and outgrowth of spores (the usual infectious form of B. anthracis) in low-iron medium. The siderophore PB was made first while BB secretion began several hours later. Spore outgrowth early in an infection may require PB, whereas delayed BB production suggests a role for BB in the later stages of the infection. Incubation of cultures (inoculated as vegetative cells) at 37°C, as compared to 2°C, increased PB production and decreased secretion of BB, suggesting that the production of PB and BB responded to the host temperature signal. The dual siderophores of B. anthracis may fulfill independent roles in the life cycle of B. anthracis.


Siderophores Petrobactin Bacillibactin Iron Anthrax 



This research was supported by the Intramural Research Grant Program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (BRB and JELA) and by National Institutes of Health Grant AI11744 (KNR). We thank P. Worsham for B. anthracis USAMRIID.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa K. Wilson
    • 1
    • 3
  • Rebecca J. Abergel
    • 2
    • 4
  • Jean E. L. Arceneaux
    • 1
  • Kenneth N. Raymond
    • 2
  • B. Rowe Byers
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Mississippi Medical CenterJacksonUSA
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyUniformed Services University of the Health SciencesBethesdaUSA
  4. 4.Chemical Sciences DivisionLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA

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