Identification, isolation, and analysis of a gene cluster involved in iron acquisition by Pseudomonas mendocina ymp

Biometals. 2008 Jun;21(3):353-66. doi: 10.1007/s10534-007-9124-5. Epub 2007 Dec 6.


Microbial acquisition of iron from natural sources in aerobic environments is a little-studied process that may lead to mineral instability and trace metal mobilization. Pseudomonas mendocina ymp was isolated from the Yucca Mountain Site for long-term nuclear waste storage. Its ability to solubilize a variety of Fe-containing minerals under aerobic conditions has been previously investigated but its molecular and genetic potential remained uncharacterized. Here, we have shown that the organism produces a hydroxamate and not a catecholate-based siderophore that is synthesized via non-ribosomal peptide synthetases. Gene clustering patterns observed in other Pseudomonads suggested that hybridizing multiple probes to the same library could allow for the identification of one or more clusters of syntenic siderophore-associated genes. Using this approach, two independent clusters were identified. An unfinished draft genome sequence of P. mendocina ymp indicated that these mapped to two independent contigs. The sequenced clusters were investigated informatically and shown to contain respectively a potentially complete set of genes responsible for siderophore biosynthesis, uptake, and regulation, and an incomplete set of genes with low individual homology to siderophore-associated genes. A mutation in the cluster's pvdA homolog (pmhA) resulted in a siderophore-null phenotype, which could be reversed by complementation. The organism likely produces one siderophore with possibly different isoforms and a peptide backbone structure containing seven residues (predicted sequence: Acyl-Asp-Dab-Ser-fOHOrn-Ser-fOHorn). A similar approach could be applied for discovery of Fe- and siderophore-associated genes in unsequenced or poorly annotated organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Microbial Viability
  • Multigene Family / genetics*
  • Open Reading Frames / genetics
  • Pseudomonas mendocina / cytology
  • Pseudomonas mendocina / genetics*
  • Pseudomonas mendocina / metabolism*
  • Sequence Analysis


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Iron