Microbes produce siderophores which are chelators and bind to iron. This is how microbes absorb iron from soil or rock. What causes microbes to increase or decrease the rate of production of siderophores?

  • $\begingroup$ Hi Zoe, welcome to Stack Exchange! Despite the biological context of your question, I wonder if this question might fit better on chemistry.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$
    – Galen
    Apr 9, 2020 at 2:35
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    $\begingroup$ @Galen, as the question was about microbial mechanisms for siderophore regulation I think that the question is a good fit for Biology. This is likely a gene regulation question. $\endgroup$ Apr 9, 2020 at 3:58
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    $\begingroup$ It might help if you gave a more specific example related to your interest in the question. The answer to your question is going to depend on what type of microbes your are interested in, their specific metabolism, and in what kinds of ecosystems they are found. For example, a gut pathogen might have very different modes of iron acquisition than a chemo-autotroph in a hot spring. $\endgroup$
    – MikeyC
    Apr 16, 2020 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


I think that you are interested in how bacteria regulate the expression of genes that produce siderophores. For a technical reference you can see this paper studying Vibrio, or this paper studying Pseudomonas. For a more general review see here.

Note that this is a diverse piece of metabolism and therefore there are likely to be a diversity of mechanisms by which siderophore production occurs, though superficially it appears that there are some general principles you can draw. I recommend looking at those papers and trying to understand the commonalities.


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