Siderophores are organic compounds with low molecular mass that are produced by microorganisms growing under conditions of low iron. The primary function of these compounds is to chelate ferric iron from different terrestrial and aquatic habitats and thereby make it available for microbial cells.
Siderophores have received much attention in recent years because of their potential roles and applications in various areas of environmental research. For instance, the production of siderophores can provide a quick identification of microbes to the species level that called “siderotyping”. On the other hand, siderophores could also function as biocontrol, biosensor, and bioremediation agents, in addition to their important role in mineral weathering and enhancing plant growth. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the composition of trihydroxamate siderophores in soil samples from different horizons (O (organic), E (eluvial), B (upper illuvial), and C (parent material)) of a podzol soil in Sweden, and study how they are affected by the presence of specific mineral types (apatite, biotite and oligioclase) that were inserted in the soil for two years in a field experiment.
Our field experiment succeeded in describing the relationship between the presence of siderophores, soil horizons and mineral types. A wide range of fungal and bacterial hydroxamates were detected throughout the soil profile. On the other hand, the presence of the minerals completely altered the diversity of siderophores. In addition, each mineral had a unique interaction with hydroxamates in the different soil horizons. Our next step is to gain greater insight into the siderotyping to illustrate the relationship between the siderophore types that was found throughout the soil profile and on the different mineral surfaces and the microbial diversity by using metagenomic applications.