The article “Genomic insight into iron acquisition by sulfate-reducing bacteria in microaerophilic environments” was published in BioMetals (read). Historically, sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) have been considered to be strict anaerobes, but reports in the past couple of decades indicate that SRB tolerate exposure to O2 and can even grow in aerophilic environments. With the transition from anaerobic to microaerophilic conditions, the uptake of Fe(III) from the environment by SRB would become important. In evaluating the metabolic capability for the uptake of iron, the genomes of 26 SRB, representing eight families, were examined. All SRB reviewed carry genes (feoA and feoB) for the ferrous uptake system to transport Fe(II) across the plasma membrane into the cytoplasm. In addition, all of the SRB genomes examined have putative genes for a canonical ABC transporter that may transport ferric siderophore or ferric chelated species from the environment. Gram-negative SRB have additional machinery to import ferric siderophores and ferric chelated species since they have the TonB system that can work alongside any of the outer membrane porins annotated in the genome. Included in this review is the discussion that SRB may use the putative siderophore uptake system to import metals other than iron.
This work is the product of a successful collaboration with scientists from United States (Larry Barton) and Portugal (Americo Duarte).