Regulation of expression of the PetI operon involved in iron oxidation in the biomining bacterium Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans

C. Lefimil, H. Osorio, R. Quatrini, D. Holmes, E. Jedlicki

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans is an acidophilic, chemolithotrophic bacterium that can gain energy and electrons by the oxidation of iron. PetI is an operon that encodes electron transport proteins involved in the reverse flow of electrons from iron to the NAD complex during iron oxidation. Although a substantial body of evidence describes the components and pathways for iron oxidation, little is known about their regulation. It is proposed that environmental iron concentrations and oxygen levels could influence the ability of A. ferrooxidans to oxidize iron as an energy source. We report initial investigators into the possibility that the expression of the PetI operon is regulated, inter alia, by the master transcription factor controlling iron uptake and homeostasis (Fur) and anaerobic metabolism (FNR). Potential DNA binding sites (boxes) for both regulators were predicted in the region of the PetI operon promoter and the binding of Fur to its cognate box was demonstrated experimentally. This represents the first attempt to unravel the mechanisms involved in the regulation of iron oxidation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiohydrometallurgy 2009
Subtitle of host publicationA Meeting Point between Microbial Ecology, Metal Recovery Processes and Environmental Remediation - Selected, peer rev. papers 18th Int. Biohydrometallurgy Symp., IBS 2009
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event18th International Biohydrometallurgy Symposium, IBS 2009 - Bariloche, Argentina
Duration: 13 Sep 200917 Sep 2009

Publication series

NameAdvanced Materials Research
ISSN (Print)1022-6680


Other18th International Biohydrometallurgy Symposium, IBS 2009


  • Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans
  • FNR
  • Fur
  • Gene regulation
  • Iron oxidation
  • Peti

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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