Bacterial Siderophore-Mediated Iron Acquisition in Cuatro Cienegas Basin: A Complex Community Interplay Made Simpler in the Light of Evolutionary Genomics

  • H. Ramos-Aboites
  • A. Yáñez-Olvera
  • F. Barona-GómezEmail author
Part of the Cuatro Ciénegas Basin: An Endangered Hyperdiverse Oasis book series (CUCIBA)


Ferric iron (Fe3+) became abundant after the oxidation event that occurred during the Precambrian, but biologically limited due to its poor and uneven distribution in its soluble form, ferrous iron (Fe2+). In consequence, siderophores, i.e., specialized iron scavenger metabolites, evolved to allow bacteria to obtain this nutrient. Therefore, siderophores can mediate complex bacterial communities, emphasizing the ecological role of these specialized metabolites. In this chapter, we present what is known about hydroxamate siderophores and, in particular, about coelichelin and desferrioxamines that are produced by genera belonging to the phylum Actinobacteria. Given that this phylum is predominant in Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB), our interest is in the evolution and ecological roles of these specialized metabolites in this unique ecological niche. We review the biosynthetic and transport capabilities sustaining bacterial hydroxamate siderophore-mediated iron acquisition in Actinobacteria and provide an example to illustrate a proposed evolutionary conceptual frameworkuseful for molecular functional and ecological analyses. The example presented includes genomic analysis of novel actinobacteria that were isolated from CCB that leads to novel biological insights, informing us about the structure and function of the microbial community as mediated by hydroxamate siderophores.


Desferrioxamines Coelichelin Siderophore biosynthesis Siderophore-binding proteins Actinobacteria Lentzea 



The work by our laboratory in the CCB was made possible, thanks to the support by Valeria Souza and Gabriela Olmedo and their teams and funding to FBG from Conacyt grants (Nos. 179290 & 285746). The authors would like to thank the many members of the Evolution of Metabolic Diversity Laboratory that took part in expeditions to CCB during 2012–2016 and subsequent experimental and bioinformatics work. We would like to specially thank Alejandra Castañeda, Pablo Cruz, Milan Janda, Cuauhtémoc Licona, Paulina Mejía, Sandra Pérez, Hugo Ramírez, José-Luis Steffani, Nelly Selem, Karina Gutiérrez, and Mariana Vallejo, without whom this work could not have been possible.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Ramos-Aboites
    • 1
  • A. Yáñez-Olvera
    • 1
  • F. Barona-Gómez
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Unidad de Genómica Avanzada (Langebio)Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN (Cinvestav)IrapuatoMéxico

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