Phosphorus supply drives rapid turnover of membrane phospholipids in the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana


Martin, Patrick, Van Mooy, Benjamin A.S., Heithoff, Abigail and Dyhrman, Sonya (2011) Phosphorus supply drives rapid turnover of membrane phospholipids in the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana. The ISME Journal, 5, (6), 1057-1060. (doi:10.1038/ismej.2010.192).

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Description/Abstract

In low-phosphorus (P) marine systems, phytoplankton replace membrane phospholipids with non-phosphorus lipids, but it is not known how rapidly this substitution occurs. Here, when cells of the model diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana were transferred from P-replete medium to P-free medium, the phospholipid content of the cells rapidly declined within 48 h from 45±0.9 to 21±4.5% of the total membrane lipids; the difference was made up by non-phosphorus lipids. Conversely, when P-limited T. pseudonana were resupplied with P, cells reduced the percentage of their total membrane lipids contributed by a non-phosphorus lipid from 43±1.5 to 7.3±0.9% within 24 h, whereas the contribution by phospholipids rose from 2.2±0.1 to 44±3%. This dynamic phospholipid reservoir contained sufficient P to synthesize multiple haploid genomes, suggesting that phospholipid turnover could be an important P source for cells. Field observations of phytoplankton lipid content may thus reflect short-term changes in P supply and cellular physiology, rather than simply long-term adjustment to the environment.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1751-7362 (print)
1751-7370 (electronic)
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > National Oceanography Centre (NERC)
ePrint ID: 177835
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2011 10:26
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 19:25
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/177835

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