Herbaspirillum seropedicae Z67 is a nitrogen-fixing bacterium able to colonize the rhizosphere and the interior of several plants. As iron is a key element for nitrogen fixation, we examined the response of this microorganism to iron deficiency under nitrogen fixing conditions. We identified a H. seropedicae exbD gene that was induced in response to iron limitation and is involved in iron homeostasis. We found that an exbD mutant grown in iron-chelated medium is unable to fix nitrogen. Moreover, we provide evidence that expression of the nifH and nifA genes is iron dependent in a H. seropedicae genetic background.
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