Effect of light on iron uptake by the freshwater cyanobacterium microcystis aeruginosa

M. Fujii, T. C. Dang, A. L. Rose, T. Omura, T. D. Waite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Visible light was observed to induce reductive dissociation of organically complexed Fe and dramatically increase the short-term uptake rate of radiolabeled Fe by Microcystis aeruginosa PCC7806 in Fraquil* medium buffered by a single metal chelator, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). Only wavelengths <500 nm activated Fe uptake indicating that Fe photochemistry rather than biological factors is responsible for the facilitated uptake. The measured rate of photochemical Fe(II) production combined with a significant decrease in 55Fe uptake rate in the presence of ferrozine (a strong ferrous iron chelator) confirmed that photogenerated unchelated Fe(II) was the major form of Fe taken up by M. aeruginosa under the conditions examined. Mathematical modeling based on unchelated Fe(II) uptake by concentration gradient dependent passive diffusion of Fe(II) through nonspecific transmembrane channels (porins) could account for the magnitude of Fe uptake and a variety of other observations such as the effect of competing ligands on Fe uptake. Steady-state uptake rates indicated that M. aeruginosa acquires Fe predominantly during the light cycle. This study confirms that Fe photochemistry has a dominant impact on Fe acquisition and growth by M. aeruginosa in EDTA-buffered culture medium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1391-1398
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb 15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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