Iron transport in cyanobacteria – from molecules to communities

Guo Wei Qiu, Coco Koedooder, Bao Sheng Qiu, Yeala Shaked, Nir Keren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Iron is an essential micronutrient for the ecologically important photoautotrophic cyanobacteria which are found across diverse aquatic environments. Low concentrations and poor bioavailability of certain iron species exert a strong control on cyanobacterial growth, affecting ecosystem structure and biogeochemical cycling. Here, we review the iron-acquisition pathways cyanobacteria utilize for overcoming these challenges. As the molecular details of cyanobacterial iron transport are being uncovered, an overall scheme of how cyanobacteria handle and exploit this scarce and redox-active micronutrient is emerging. Importantly, the range of biological solutions used by cyanobacteria to increase iron fluxes goes beyond transport and includes behavioral traits of colonial cyanobacteria and intricate cyanobacteria–bacteria interactions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)229-240
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Synechocystis
  • Trichodesmium
  • bacterial community
  • iron
  • membrane transport
  • Cyanobacteria/metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Ecosystem
  • Iron/metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Iron transport in cyanobacteria – from molecules to communities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this