The components of the putative iron transport system in the cyanobacteriumAnabaenasp. PCC 7120

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SummaryIron uptake in Gram-negative bacteria involves four distinct steps: (i) siderophore synthesis, (ii) siderophore secretion into the extracellular space, (iii) iron chelation by the siderophores, and (iv) siderophore/iron uptake via complexes in the outer membrane and the intermembrane space as well as in the plasma membrane. This process is well characterized for some proteobacterial systems, but largely unexplored and scarcely investigated in cyanobacteria such as the heterocyst-forming cyanobacteriumAnabaenasp. PCC 7120. Two putative siderophore synthesis clusters have been recently identified in this cyanobacterium. In addition, the export system for the main siderophore, schizokinen, secreted byAnabaenasp. PCC 7120 was described as well as the outer membrane transporter for its import from the extracellular space. We present the identification of components of three additional systems involved in siderophore-mediated iron uptake under iron-limiting conditions, namely TonB3, the ExbB3/ExbD3 and the Fhu systems. The transcription level of these genes is elevated under iron limitations and decreased under excess iron, while the expression levels of other members of these gene families and systems are impacted in distinct ways by other environmental conditions. Mutants of thetonB3, exbB3/exbD3andfhugenes show an iron starvation phenotype. Thus,Anabaenasp. has a similar, yet distinct system for siderophore-dependent iron uptake compared with other proteobacteria.

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