Distribution and evolution of ferripyoverdine receptors inPseudomonas aeruginosa

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SummaryPseudomonas aeruginosais a ubiquitous Gram-negative bacterium, which is also able to cause severe opportunistic infections in humans. The colonization of the host is importantly affected by the production of the high-affinity iron (III) scavenging peptidic siderophore pyoverdine. The speciesP. aeruginosacan be divided into three subgroups (‘siderovars’), each characterized by the production of a specific pyoverdine and receptor (FpvA). We used a multiplex PCR to determine the FpvA siderovar on 345P. aeruginosastrains from environmental or clinical origin. We found about the same proportion of each type in clinical strains, while FpvA type I was slightly over-represented (49%) in environmental strains. Our multiplex PCR also detected the presence or absence of an additional receptor for type I pyoverdine (FpvB). ThefpvBgene was in fact present in the vast majority ofP. aeruginosastrains (93%), regardless of their siderovar or their origin. Finally, molecular analyses offpvAandfpvBgenes highlighted a complex evolutionary history, probably linked to the central role of iron acquisition in the ecology and virulence ofP. aeruginosa.

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