Send to

Choose Destination
Trends Microbiol. 2011 Jul;19(7):330-40. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2011.05.001. Epub 2011 Jun 12.

Bioenergetic challenges of microbial iron metabolisms.

Author information

Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Before cyanobacteria invented oxygenic photosynthesis and O(2) and H(2)O began to cycle between respiration and photosynthesis, redox cycles between other elements were used to sustain microbial metabolism on a global scale. Today these cycles continue to occur in more specialized niches. In this review we focus on the bioenergetic aspects of one of these cycles - the iron cycle - because iron presents unique and fascinating challenges for cells that use it for energy. Although iron is an important nutrient for nearly all life forms, we restrict our discussion to energy-yielding pathways that use ferrous iron [Fe(II)] as an electron donor or ferric iron [Fe(III)] as an electron acceptor. We briefly review general concepts in bioenergetics, focusing on what is known about the mechanisms of electron transfer in Fe(II)-oxidizing and Fe(III)-reducing bacteria, and highlight aspects of their bioenergetic pathways that are poorly understood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center