Folia Microbiologica

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 295–302 | Cite as

Action of iron and iron-complexes onKlebsiella pneumoniae (Klebsiella aerogenes)

  • R. Chapman
  • A. C. R. Dean


Iron in the Fe(III) oxidation state had a negligible effect on the growth ofKlebsiella pneumoniae even at the highest concentration (0.45mm) obtainable without precipitation in a minimal medium containing glucose and inorganic salts together with Tris as the buffer and glycerol 2-phosphate as the phosphorus source. Nevertheless in its presence the toxic action of Cd2+, Zn2+ and Cu2+ was antagonized while that of Co2+ and Ni2+ was potentiated. Higher iron levels were obtained by supplementing the minimal medium with fructose, glycine, gluconate, tartrate and citrate at a range of concentrations. With fructose and glycine all of the resulting solutions were red-brown and non-toxic. This was also found with the other complexing agents when the ligand:iron ratios were low, but at higher ligand:iron ratios the solutions were green and toxic. Iron-citrate systems were especially toxic but resistance developed and was of the graded type. The results are discussed with particular reference to earlier physico-chemical studies by other workers and it is concluded that the red-brown colour is characteristic of the presence of polymers of high molar mass and that the green colour signifies the formation of low molar mass species.


Fructose Gluconate Oxine Ferric Citrate High Molar Mass 
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Copyright information

© 1982 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Chapman
    • 1
  • A. C. R. Dean
    • 1
  1. 1.Physical Chemistry LaboratoryUniversity of OxfordOxfordGreat Britain

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