Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New iron transporter discovered in cereal-associated bacteria

07.09.2018

A research team from Jena has discovered a new siderophore ("iron carrier"). The molecule called gramibactin is produced by bacteria that live in the root area of maize and wheat. It binds to iron from the environment that is otherwise mostly insoluble in water and targets it into the bacterial metabolism. The grain plants benefit from this because they can absorb the iron that is mobilised by the bacteria and form more chlorophyll. Gramibactin binds iron in a way not previously observed in nature. The study is published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology and highlights the complex interaction of the root microbiome with the host plant and its implications for future food security.

Christian Hertweck and his team of scientists found evidence of a novel iron uptake system in the genome of the bacterium Paraburkholderia graminis. The researchers isolated a ring-shaped molecule that belongs to the family of lipodepsipeptides and named it gramibactin because the bacteria that produce it are associated with the roots of sweet grasses – the Gramineae.


A model of the molecule gramibactin. Possible binding sites for iron are highlighted in yellow.

Ron Hermenau / Leibniz-HKI


Corn plants treated with an iron-gramibactin complex (four leaves on the right, darker green colour) show increased chlorophyll synthesis than controls with iron-free gramibactin.

Ron Hermenau / Leibniz-HKI

Gramibactin fixes iron (III) ions with a very high affinity through two unusual N-nitrosohydroxylamine groups that protrude from the ring structure. This has not previously been observed in natural iron transporter molecules and therefore makes gramibactin the first representative of an entirely new class of siderophores.

Benefit to grain crops

The researchers tested whether gramibactin can actually improve the iron supply of plants in the vicinity of which it occurs, using the production of chlorophyll as a read-out. Chlorophyll is the green pigment that is required for photosynthesis and it can only be synthesized if sufficient iron is present. The team was able to demonstrate that corn plants produced up to 50 % more chlorophyll on exposure to the gramibactin-iron complex.

These results show that iron provided through bacterial activities can have a beneficial effect on plant growth. These insights might be important because maize and wheat are two of the most important cereals for global food production. A balanced and natural colonisation of the plant root area with microorganisms – the so-called root microbiome – is an essential factor for plant growth and high crop yields.

"It is always fascinating to see the different ways in which chemical problems are solved in nature", says Hertweck and adds: "We hope that our findings will contribute to improving the fitness and health of these important crops in a natural way.”

The authors of the study work in the Collaborative Research Centre ChemBioSys. This program is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and includes scientists from the Friedrich Schiller University, the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology and other institutions that work together to elucidate signalling pathways in complex biological communities. Often several species are involved in the synthesis of substances or benefit from them in different ways. Research into such multi-partner systems and the mechanisms that stabilize them is a major research focus in Jena.

The Collaborative Research Centre ChemBioSys

In the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) ChemBioSys, biologists, chemists and physicists jointly investigate fundamental control mechanisms in complex biological systems that influence our daily lives. They study representative biosystems with bacteria, fungi, microalgae, plants, animals and human cells in increasing complexity. New molecules are being researched and strategies are being tested to influence the composition of biological communities. Scientists from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology are involved in the CRC ChemBioSys. The program is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Christian Hertweck
christian.hertweck@leibniz-hki.de

Originalpublikation:

Hermenau R, Ishida K, Gama S, Hoffmann B, Pfeifer-Leeg M, Plass W, Mohr JF, Wichard T, Saluz HP, Hertweck C (2018) Gramibactin is a bacterial siderophore with a diazeniumdiolate ligand system. Nature Chemical Biology 14, 841-843.

Dr. Michael Ramm | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.hki-jena.de

Further reports about: Biology CRC DFG Infection Nature Chemical Biology bacteria bacterial crops global food production

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How glial cells develop in the brain from neural precursor cells
11.12.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Small but ver­sat­ile; key play­ers in the mar­ine ni­tro­gen cycle can util­ize cy­anate and urea
10.12.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Marine Mikrobiologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Small but ver­sat­ile; key play­ers in the mar­ine ni­tro­gen cycle can util­ize cy­anate and urea

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

New method gives microscope a boost in resolution

10.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Carnegie Mellon researchers probe hydrogen bonds using new technique

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>