A Novel Ca2+ Signaling Pathway Coordinates Environmental Phosphorus Sensing and Nitrogen Metabolism in Marine Diatoms

Helliwell, KE, Harrison, EL, Christie-Oleza, JA, Rees, AP, Kleiner, FH, Gaikwad, T, Downe, J, Aguilo-Ferretjans, MM, Al-Moosawi, L, Brownlee, C and Wheeler, GL 2020 A Novel Ca2+ Signaling Pathway Coordinates Environmental Phosphorus Sensing and Nitrogen Metabolism in Marine Diatoms. Current Biology, 31. 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.11.073

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Diatoms are a diverse and globally important phytoplankton group, responsible for an estimated 20% of carbon fixation on Earth. They frequently form spatially extensive phytoplankton blooms, responding rapidly to increased availability of nutrients, including phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N). Although it is well established that diatoms are common first responders to nutrient influxes in aquatic ecosystems, little is known of the sensory mechanisms that they employ for nutrient perception. Here, we show that P-limited diatoms use a Ca2+-dependentsignaling pathway, notpreviouslydescribed ineukaryotes,tosenseandrespondto thecritical macronutrient P. We demonstrate that P-Ca2+ signaling is conserved between a representative pennate (Phaeodactylum tricornutum) and centric (Thalassiosira pseudonana) diatom. Moreover, this pathway is ecologically relevant, being sensitive to sub-micromolar concentrations of inorganic phosphate and a range of environmentally abundant P forms. Notably, we show that diatom recovery from P limitation requires rapid and substantial increases in N assimilation and demonstrate that this process is dependent on P-Ca2+ signaling. P-Ca2+ signaling thus governs the capacity of diatoms to rapidly sense and respond to P resupply, mediating fundamental cross-talk between the vital nutrients P and N and maximizing diatom resource competition in regions of pulsed nutrient supply.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Single Centre NC - CLASS
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Biochemistry and Observations
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 06 Jan 2021 15:55
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2021 15:55
URI: https://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/9098

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