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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Siderophores

Author
item Loper, Joyce

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Plant Pathology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: May 24, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Many microorganisms produce iron-chelating compounds called siderophores when they are in environments where iron is limiting. Siderophores are very diverse in their chemical structures, but all siderophores are secreted by the cell into the environment where they capture iron and then transport it back to the microorganism that produced them. Almost all microorganisms found on plants--whether they are plant pathogens, biological control agents, nitrogen fixing bacteria, or mycorrhizal fungi--produce siderophores. This article summarizes what is known about siderophores produced by plant-associated microorganisms, including their influences on plant disease and plant nutrition. Siderophores produced by some plant pathogens, notably bacteria in the genus Erwinia, are important in causing plant disease. Other siderophores produced by some soil microorganisms are used as sources of iron by the plant. Siderophores produced by biological control agents can help defend the plant from disease. Plant-associated microorganisms produce many different kinds of siderophores, and while each of these has the same role in providing iron to the microbe that produces it, they have very different influences on plant health.

Technical Abstract: Many microorganisms produce iron-chelating compounds called siderophores in iron-limiting environments. The chemical structures of siderophores are diverse, but all siderophores are secreted by the cell into the environment where they capture iron and transport it into cells of the producing microorganism. Almost all microorganisms found on plants--whether they are eplant pathogens, biological control agents, nitrogen fixing bacteria, or mycorrhizal fungi--produce siderophores. This article summarizes what is known about siderophores produced by plant-associated microorganisms, including their influences on plant disease and plant nutrition. Siderophores produced by some plant pathogens, notably bacteria in the genus Erwinia, are important virulence factors. Siderophores produced by some soil microorganisms are used as sources of iron by the plant. Siderophores produced by biological control agents can help defend the plant from disease. Plant-associated microorganisms produce many diverse siderophores, and while each of these has the same role in providing iron to the microbe that produces it, they have very different influences on plant health.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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