Identification and Characterization of Novel Pyoverdine Synthesis Genes in Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

Microbiology. 2003 Apr;149(Pt 4):833-842. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.26085-0.


Fluorescent pseudomonads secrete yellow-green siderophores named pyoverdines or pseudobactins. These comprise a dihydroxyquinoline derivative joined to a type-specific peptide and, usually, a carboxylic acid or amide. In Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PAO1, six genes that encode proteins required for pyoverdine synthesis (pvd genes) have been identified previously. Expression of all of these genes requires an alternative sigma factor PvdS. The purpose of this research was to identify other genes that are required for pyoverdine synthesis in P. aeruginosa PAO1. Fourteen candidate genes were identified from the PAO1 genome sequence on the basis of their location in the genome, the functions of homologues in other bacteria, and whether their expression was likely to be PvdS-dependent. The candidate genes were mutated and the effects of the mutations on pyoverdine production were determined. Eight new pvd genes were identified. The presence of homologues of pvd genes in other strains of P. aeruginosa was determined by Southern blotting and in other fluorescent pseudomonads by interrogation of genome sequences. Five pvd genes were restricted to strains of P. aeruginosa that make the same pyoverdine as strain PAO1, suggesting that they direct synthesis of the type-specific peptide. The remaining genes were present in all strains of P. aeruginosa that were examined and homologues were present in other Pseudomonas species. These genes are likely to direct synthesis of the dihydroxyquinoline moiety and the attached carboxylic acid/amide group. It is likely that most if not all of the genes required for pyoverdine synthesis in P. aeruginosa PAO1 have now been identified and this will form the basis for a biochemical description of the pathway of pyoverdine synthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Mutation
  • Oligopeptides*
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Pigments, Biological / chemistry
  • Pigments, Biological / metabolism*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / genetics*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Oligopeptides
  • Pigments, Biological
  • pyoverdin