Coordinated phosphate uptake by extracellular alkaline phosphatase and solute carrier transporters in marine diatoms

New Phytol. 2024 Feb;241(3):1210-1221. doi: 10.1111/nph.19410. Epub 2023 Nov 28.


Marine diatoms express genes encoding potential phosphate transporter and alkaline phosphatase (APase) under phosphate-limited (-P) condition. This indicates that diatoms use high-affinity phosphate uptake system with organic phosphate hydration. The function of molecules playing roles for Pi uptake was determined in this study. Pi uptake and APase activity of two marine diatoms, Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Thalassiosira pseudonana, were monitored during acclimation to -P condition. The transcript levels of Pi transporter were analyzed, and Pi transporters were localized with GFP tagging in diatom cells. KO mutants of plasma membrane solute carrier proteins (SLC34s) or APase were established, and their phenotype was evaluated. Some Na+ /Pi transporter candidates, SLC34s in P. tricornutum and T. pseudonana, increased transcript under -P condition. Whole-cell Pi transport was specifically stimulated by sodium ion but independent of potassium, lithium, or proton. Genome-editing KO of PtSLC34-5 and APase (Pt49678) in P. tricornutum was highly inhibitory for Pi uptake, and KO of TpSLC34-2 was also highly inhibitory for Pi uptake in T. pseudonana. SLC34s and APase were co-expressed under -P conditions in marine diatoms. SLC34s play a major role in the initial acclimation stage of diatom cells to -P condition and APase plays an increasing role in the prolonged Pi-starved condition.

Keywords: alkaline phosphatase; marine diatom; phosphate; phosphate transporter; solute carrier protein.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Biological Transport
  • Diatoms* / genetics
  • Diatoms* / metabolism
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Phosphates / metabolism


  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Phosphates
  • Membrane Transport Proteins