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    Under iron-limiting conditions, bacteria produce low molecular mass Fe(iii) binding molecules known as siderophores to sequester the Fe(iii), along with other elements, increasing their bioavailability. Siderophores are thought to influence iron cycling and biogeochemistry in both marine and terrestrial ecosystems and hence the need for rapid, confident characterization of these compounds has increased. In this study, the type of siderophores produced by two marine bacterial species, Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 and Vibrio cyclitrophicus 1F53, were characterized by use of a newly developed 21 T Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometer (FTICR MS) with direct injection electrospray ionization. This technique allowed for the rapid detection of synechobactins from Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 as well as amphibactins from Vibrio cyclitrophicus 1F53 based on high mass accuracy and resolution allowing for observation of specific Fe isotopes and isotopic fine structure enabling highly confident identification of these siderophores. When combined with molecular network analysis two new amphibactins were discovered and verified by tandem MS. These results show that high-field FTICR MS is a powerful technique that will greatly improve the ability to rapidly identify and discover metal binding species in the environment.


    Lawrence R Walker, Malak M Tfaily, Jared B Shaw, Nancy J Hess, Ljiljana Paša-Tolić, David W Koppenaal. Unambiguous identification and discovery of bacterial siderophores by direct injection 21 Tesla Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry. Metallomics : integrated biometal science. 2017 Jan 25;9(1):82-92

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    PMID: 27905613

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