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Azotobacter vinelandii gene clusters for two types of peptidic and catechol siderophores produced in response to molybdenum

Yoneyama, F., Yamamoto, M., Hashimoto, W., Murata, K.
Journal of applied microbiology 2011 v.111 no.4 pp. 932-938
Azotobacter vinelandii, biosynthesis, catechol, microbiology, molybdenum, multigene family, mutants, nitrogen fixation, nitrogenase, siderophores
Aim: To characterize the complementary production of two types of siderophores in Azotobacter vinelandii. Methods and Results: In an iron‐insufficient environment, nitrogen‐fixing A. vinelandii produces peptidic (azotobactin) and catechol siderophores for iron uptake to be used as a nitrogenase cofactor. Molybdenum, another nitrogenase cofactor, was also found to affect the production level of siderophores. Wild‐type cells excreted azotobactin into molybdenum‐supplemented and iron‐insufficient medium, although catechol siderophores predominate in molybdenum‐free environments. Two gene clusters were identified to be involved in the production of azotobactin and catechol siderophores through gene annotation and disruption. Azotobactin‐deficient mutant cells produced catechol siderophores under the molybdenum‐supplemented and iron‐insufficient conditions, whereas catechol siderophore–deficient mutant cells extracellularly secreted excess azotobactin under iron‐deficient condition independent of the concentration of molybdenum. This evidence suggests that a complementary siderophore production system exists in A. vinelandii. Conclusions: Molybdenum was found to regulate the production level of two types of siderophores. Azotobacter vinelandii cells are equipped with a complementary production system for nitrogen fixation in response to a limited quantity of metals. Significance and Impact of the Study: This is the first study identifying A. vinelandii gene clusters for the biosynthesis of two types of siderophores and clarifying the relationship between them.