The role of iron uptake in pathogenicity and symbiosis in Photorhabdus luminescens TT01


Watson, R. J., Millichap, P., Joyce, S. A., Reynolds, S. and Clarke, D. J., 2010. The role of iron uptake in pathogenicity and symbiosis in Photorhabdus luminescens TT01. BMC Microbiology, 10, 177.

Related documents:

PDF (Reynolds_BMCMicroBiol_2010_10_177.pdf) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (780kB) | Preview

    Official URL:

    Related URLs:


    Background: Photorhabdus are Gram negative bacteria that are pathogenic to insect larvae whilst also having a mutualistic interaction with nematodes from the family Heterorhabditis. Iron is an essential nutrient and bacteria have different mechanisms for obtaining both the ferrous (Fe2+) and ferric (Fe3+) forms of this metal from their environments. In this study we were interested in analyzing the role of Fe3+ and Fe2+ iron uptake systems in the ability of Photorhabdus to interact with its invertebrate hosts. Results: We constructed targeted deletion mutants of exbD, feoABC and yfeABCD in P. luminescens TT01. The exbD mutant was predicted to be crippled in its ability to obtain Fe3+ and we show that this mutant does not grow well in iron-limited media. We also show that this mutant was avirulent to the insect but was unaffected in its symbiotic interaction with Heterorhabditis. Furthermore we show that a mutation in feoABC (encoding a predicted Fe2+ permease) was unaffected in both virulence and symbiosis whilst the divalent cation transporter encoded by yfeABCD is required for virulence in the Tobacco Hornworm, Manduca sexta (Lepidoptera) but not in the Greater Wax Moth, Galleria mellonella (Lepidoptera). Moreover the Yfe transporter also appears to have a role during colonization of the IJ stage of the nematode. Conclusion: In this study we show that iron uptake (via the TonB complex and the Yfe transporter) is important for the virulence of P. luminescens to insect larvae. Moreover this study also reveals that the Yfe transporter appears to be involved in Mn2+-uptake during growth in the gut lumen of the IJ nematode. Therefore, the Yfe transporter in P. luminescens TT01 is important during colonization of both the insect and nematode and, moreover, the metal ion transported by this pathway is host-dependent.


    Item Type Articles
    CreatorsWatson, R. J., Millichap, P., Joyce, S. A., Reynolds, S. and Clarke, D. J.
    Related URLs
    URLURL Type
    DepartmentsFaculty of Science > Biology & Biochemistry
    Publisher StatementReynolds_BMCMicroBiol_2010_10_177.pdf: © 2010 Watson et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
    ID Code20599


    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads

    More statistics for this item...