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Role of Siderophores in Bio-



Fe3+ Fe3+ Fe3+ Fe3+

Fe3+ Fe3+ Fe3+ Fe3+

Mechanism of Action:
Competition-for nutrients, i.e. Iron
• Are the extra cellular, low molecular weight(500
to 1000 Daltons), virtually Fe III (ferric)-
specific legands produced as scavenging agent
in order to combat low iron stress.
• Iron chelating agents (Proteins)- make complex
with iron III with high affinity.
Most aerobic and facultative anaerobic
microorganisms respond to low iron stress by
producing siderophores.
On the basis of their chemical
• Two distinct type;
• Catecholate type: with catechol residue
• Hydroxymate type: with hydroxymic
acid residue
Other general charecteristics:
• They are also produced by some plants-
• Produced by one organism can be utilized by
another organism although there is great deal
of specificity in their uptake mechanism.
• Are utilized specifically i.e, the producer
organisms have special receptors for their
• Condition of low iron solubility in soil, iron
chelators are extremely important for
mobilizing iron and increasing its availability
to plant and microbes.
• Operate in Gram-negative and Gram-
positive bacterial spp,
• Animal and plant pathogens,
• Aerobic bacteria and fungi,
• Symbiotic and free living nitrogen fixing
bacteria and others.
Microorganism Siderophores

A. Fungi
Aspergillus spp. Ferrichromes
&Penicillium spp.

Neurospora spp & Copnogen

Ustilago spp.
Rhodotorula sp. Rhodotorulic acid
Ectomycorrhizal spp. Hydroxymate type
B. Bacteria
Actinomyces sp. Ferrioxamines
Agrobacterium Agrobactin
Anabaena sp. Schizokinen
Arthrobacter sp. Arthrobactin
Bacillus megaterium Schizokinen
Enteric sp. Agrobactin, Enterobactin
Pseudomonas sp. Pseudobactin,Pyochelin,
Mycobacteria Mycobactins
Sidrophore produced by bacterial antagonists
-Glimpses of Plant Pathology-TNAU-V.Sendhilvel,…
• Siderophore • Producing organism
• Schizokien • Bacillus megaterium,Ralstonia
• Azotobactin solancearum
• Pseudobactin • Azotobacter vinelandii
• Rhizobactin • Pseudomonas putida B 10
• Anguibactin • Rhizobium meliloti
• Pyoverdin • Vibriotanguillarum 775 (PJM)
• Cepabactin • Pseudomonas aeruginosa,
• Chrysobactin P.chlororaphis,
• • P.cepacia
Staphyloferrin A
• Erwinia chrysanthemi
• Ferribactin
• Staphylococcus hyicus
• Ornibactin
• • Pseudomonas fluorescens
Desferrioxamine B&E
• Pseudomonas cepacia
• Streptomyces viridosporus
Examples of siderophores produced by various
bacteria and fungi are: Wikipedia

• ferrichrome (Ustilago sphaerogena),

• enterobactin (Escherichia coli),
• enterobactin and bacillibactin (Bacillus subtilis),
• ferrioxamine B (Streptomyces pilosus),
• fusarinine C (Fusarium roseum),
• yersiniabactin (Yersinia pestis),
• vibriobactin (Vibrio cholerae),
• azotobactin (Azotobacter vinelandii),
• pseudobactin (Pseudomonas B 10)
• or erythrobactin (Saccharopolyspora erythraea
• Rhizobaceria, Pseudomonas
-- fluorescent,yellow-green water
soluble siderophores with both
hydroxymate and phenolate groups.
Classified as either pyoviridins or
• Different siderophores differ in their
affinity for iron and other cations-
competition between siderophores .
• If an antagonist produces a better
siderophores than the pathogen, then
the pathogen could be deprived of iron
and therefore grows less well.
• Kloepper et al (1980) were the first to
demonstrate the importance of
siderophores in bio-control.
• Role of bacterial siderophores in dissolution of hornblende-L.J.Liermann et al.

• Fe(III) is unavailableto cells in aerobic

environments due to low solubility of Fe
oxyhydroxides near neutral pH.
• Siderophores(Gk.=iron bearer) denotes a
virtually Fe(III)-specific ligand that produced
by aerobic bacteria and fungi growing under
low iron conditions.
• Most are of either the hydroxamate
(eg.ferrioxamines) or catechol class; others
include carboxylates and pyoverdines.
• Those with hexadentate coordination of
Fe(III) have higher affinity than those with
tetradentate or bidentate coordination.
• The siderophore released by
Streptomyces sp. was identified as a
catecholamide, which is unusual for
• However, there are known mixed ligand
siderophores produced by
actinomycetes (Catechol-hydroxamate).
• The hydroxamates are generated by
the microorganism in a higher iron
environment, whereas the
catecholamide works as a “ back-up”
system when the iron concentrations
are lower.
• Role of iron in rhizobacteria-mediated induced systemic resistance of cucumber-C.M.Press
et al.

• Seed treatment with the rhizosphere

bacterium Serratia marcescens strain
90-166 suppressed anthracnose of
cucumber, caused by Colletotrichum
orbiculare, through ISR.
• When the iron concentration of a
planting mix was decreased by addition
of an iron chelator, suppression of
anthracnose by strain 90-166 was
significantly improved. The strain
produced 465+/-70 mg/litre of catechol
• ISR induced by Pseudomonas fluorescens wcs374
against Fusarium wilt of radish is inversely related to
iron availability of the planting substrate.
• Among siderophores produced by rhizosphere
bacteria, only the pyoverdines (also called
pseudobactins) produced by the fluorescent
pseudomonads have been implicated in ISR.
• The siderophore produced by 90-166 has not been
identified, but other strains of Serratia marcescens
produce the catechol siderophore enterobactin.
• Pyoverdin deficient strain of P.fluorescens
CHAO(CHA400) no longer induced resistance
against Tobacco necrosis virus in tobacco.
• Siderophores differ in their influence on plant
resistance responses or that some bacterial strains
have additional characteristics inolved in ISR that can
compensate for lack of siderophore production.
• Antifungals from fluorescent pseudomonads: biosynthesis and regulation-Deepti


• Pseudomonads can indirectly suppress

fungal pathogens by scavenging iron in
the rhizosphere environment through
the release of siderophores
• Under Fe-starvation conditions,
siderophores can trap traces of
insoluble complexes. Such complexes
are internalized into cells through
specific membrane-bound receptors.
• Isolation of siderophore-producing strains of Rhizobium meliloti and their
biocontrol potential against macrophomina phaseolina that causes charcoal rot

of groundnut-N.K.Arora,S.C.kang&D.K.Maheshwari

• Use of antagonistic rhizobia has an

added advantage in that they have also
the ability to fix nitrogen. Different strain
of rhizobia have now been reported to
produce siderophores (Catechol-
phenolic type and hydroxamate type)
• Book:
• Siderophore may also act as growth factor
• Some are potent antibiotic exhibiting both
fungicidal and bactericidal effects under low
• Various compounds of siderophores
produced by fluorescent pseudomonads are:
ferrichrome, ferrioxamine, phytosiderophores,
pseudobactin B10, pyochelin, pyoverdine,etc.
• In phyllosphere, siderophores may originate
from the plant (Phytosiderophores) or from
colonizing microorganisms.
• Phytosiderophores, found only in some
grasses are produced under iron-
limiting conditions.
• These are mugieneic acid from barley,
• Avenic acid-A from oat and
• 2-deoxymugineic acid from wheat
• Phytosiderophores appear to have less
affinity than microbial siderophores for
ferric ion.
I am a Healthy Crop!