New paper in-press

In a recent Metallomics article (Metallomics Emerging Investigators special issue), we report the evolution of bacterial low and high-affinity siderophore families and their production patterns in Azotobacter sp., common plant growth promoting soil diazotrophs. The results highlight the importance of a conserved low-affinity siderophore structure alongside an arsenal of variable high-affinity siderophore structural families. These insights are relevant to understand why many bacteria are able to produce multiple siderophore structures and how beneficial siderophore producers affect the growth of plants and other rhizosphere microbes.

Conserved patterns of low and high-affinity siderophore production related to severity of Fe limitation and siderophore genetic evolution in Azotobacters. The results indicate the importance of a low affinity siderophore (vibrioferrin) in all Azotobacters under conditions of mild Fe limitation. The structures of high-affinity siderophore families vary with species and strains and are produced under severe Fe limitation.





Zhang, X. *, O. Baars *, F. M. M. Morel, Genetic, structural, and functional diversity of low- and high-affinity siderophores in strains of nitrogen fixing Azotobacter chroococcum, Metallomics, DOI: 10.1039/c8mt00236c
(*authors contributed equally) <pdf>

Undergraduate Summer Research Symposium

Students presenting their summer research projects at the NCSU Undergraduate Research Symposium (July 31, 2018).

Althea Loucanides – ‘Root Secreted Metabolites of Iron Replete and Starved Arabidopsis Varieties Via CE-MS/MS’









Nathaniel Fisher Poster
Nathaniel Fisher after a discussion with Prof. Duckworth (right) – ‘Are North Carolina Soils Iron-Limited?’
Emma White – ‘Iron Limitation and Siderophore Production by Nitrogen Fixing Phytoplankton and Bacteria in the North and South Pacific’









Ashley Jeckel – ‘Strong microbial siderophore production and potential iron limitation in North Carolina Soil Incubations’. Poster not shown because of camera problems.