Data from: Ecological selection of siderophore-producing microbial taxa in response to heavy metal contamination
Cite this dataset
Hesse, Elze et al. (2018). Data from: Ecological selection of siderophore-producing microbial taxa in response to heavy metal contamination [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8c0t7
Some microbial public goods can provide both individual and community-wide benefits, and are open to exploitation by non-producing species. One such example is the production of metal-detoxifying siderophores. Here, we investigate whether conflicting selection pressures on siderophore production by heavy metals – a detoxifying effect of siderophores, and exploitation of this detoxifying effect – results in a net increase or decrease. We show that the proportion of siderophore-producing taxa increases along a natural heavy metal gradient. A causal link between metal contamination and siderophore production was subsequently demonstrated in a microcosm experiment in compost, in which we observed changes in community composition towards taxa that produce relatively more siderophores following copper contamination. We confirmed the selective benefit of siderophores by showing that taxa producing large amount of siderophores suffered less growth inhibition in toxic copper. Our results suggest that ecological selection will favour siderophore-mediated decontamination, with important consequences for potential remediation strategies.