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Most aerobic bacteria secrete siderophores to facilitate iron acquisition. Two families of siderophores were isolated from strains belonging to two different genera of marine bacteria. The aquachelins, from Halomonas aquamarina strain DS40M3, and the marinobactins, from Marinobacter sp. strains DS40M6 and DS40M8, each contain a unique peptidic head group that coordinates iron(III) and an appendage of one of a series of fatty acid moieties. These siderophores have low critical micelle concentrations (CMCs). In the absence of iron, the marinobactins are present as micelles at concentrations exceeding their CMC; upon addition of iron(III), the micelles undergo a spontaneous phase change to form vesicles. These observations suggest that unique iron acquisition mechanisms may have evolved in marine bacteria.
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