Petrobactin is the primary siderophore synthesized by Bacillus anthracis str Sterne and is required for virulence of this organism in a mouse model. The siderophore's biosynthetic machinery was recently defined and gene homologues of this operon exist in several other Bacillus strains known to be mammalian pathogens, but are absent in several known to be harmless such as B. subtilis and B. lichenformis. Thus, a common hypothesis regarding siderophore production in Bacillus species is that petrobactin production is exclusive to pathogenic isolates. In order to test this hypothesis, siderophores produced by 106 strains of an in-house library of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group were isolated and identified using a MALDI-TOF-MS assay. Strains were selected from a previously defined phylogenetic tree of this group in order to include both known pathogens and innocuous strains. Petrobactin is produced by pathogenic strains and innocuous isolates alike, and thus is not itself indicative of virulence.
- Bacillus anthracis
- Bacillus cereus
- Bacillus thuringiensis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)