Petrobactin is produced by both pathogenic and non-pathogenic isolates of the Bacillus cereus group of bacteria

Andrew T. Koppisch, Suraj Dhungana, Karen K. Hill, Hakim Boukhalfa, Henry S. Heine, Leslie A. Colip, Raymond B. Romero, Yulin Shou, Lawrence O. Ticknor, Babetta L. Marrone, Larry E. Hersman, Srinivas Iyer, Christy E. Ruggiero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Petrobactin is the primary siderophore synthesized by Bacillus anthracis str Sterne and is required for virulence of this organism in a mouse model. The siderophore's biosynthetic machinery was recently defined and gene homologues of this operon exist in several other Bacillus strains known to be mammalian pathogens, but are absent in several known to be harmless such as B. subtilis and B. lichenformis. Thus, a common hypothesis regarding siderophore production in Bacillus species is that petrobactin production is exclusive to pathogenic isolates. In order to test this hypothesis, siderophores produced by 106 strains of an in-house library of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group were isolated and identified using a MALDI-TOF-MS assay. Strains were selected from a previously defined phylogenetic tree of this group in order to include both known pathogens and innocuous strains. Petrobactin is produced by pathogenic strains and innocuous isolates alike, and thus is not itself indicative of virulence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-589
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Bacillus cereus
  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Iron
  • Siderophores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Metals and Alloys


Dive into the research topics of 'Petrobactin is produced by both pathogenic and non-pathogenic isolates of the Bacillus cereus group of bacteria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this