A mutant of Escherichia coli K-12 unable to form an essential component of the enterochelin-dependent iron transport system has been isolated. This strain carries a mutation in a gene designated fep, mapping close to two genes, entA and entD, concerned with enterochelin synthesis. Strain AN102, which carries the fep(-) allele, accumulates large quantities of enterochelin and gives a growth response to sodium citrate. The cytochrome b(1) and total iron content, and the measurement of the uptake of (55)Fe(3+), indicate an impairment of the enterochelin-dependent iron transport system. The growth response to sodium citrate is related to the presence, in strain AN102, of an inducible citrate-dependent iron transport system.