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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1993 Mar 15;108(1):111-5.

Escherichia coli K-12 ferrous iron uptake mutants are impaired in their ability to colonize the mouse intestine.

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Mikrobiologie II, Tübingen, FRG, Institute for Preventive Medicine, Beograd, Crnotravska, Yugoslavia.


The streptomycin-treated mouse colonization model was used to investigate the role of the Fe2+ uptake system (Feo) of Escherichia coli K12 in the colonization of the mouse intestine. Mutants impaired in the uptake of Fe2+ ions were shown to be deficient also in their colonization ability. Both enterochelin-producing and enterochelin-nonproducing Escherichia coli feo mutants were unable to colonize the mouse intestine. These results demonstrated that Fe(II) is an essential source of iron for E. coli grown in the intestine.

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