Data from: Social evolution of toxic metal bioremediation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Siobhán O'Brien, David J. Hodgson & Angus Buckling
Bacteria are often iron-limited, and hence produce extracellular iron-scavenging siderophores. A crucial feature of siderophore production is that it can be an altruistic behaviour (individually costly but benefitting neighbouring cells), thus siderophore producers can be invaded by non-producing social ‘cheats’. Recent studies have shown that siderophores can also bind other heavy metals (such as Cu and Zn), but in this case siderophore chelation actually reduces metal uptake by bacteria. These complexes reduce heavy metal toxicity,...
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