Decoding Diatoms: The unusual nutrient metabolism underlying their ecological dominance

Sarah Smith
Assistant Professor
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

photo of Dr. Sarah Smith

Nov 2, 2022 at 11:00 a.m.
Seminar recording

In the nearly two decades of research conducted since the first diatom full genome sequence was published, several key insights into the strategies diatom use to outcompete other phytoplankton taxa have been made. This research has furthered our knowledge on the function of the diatom urea cycle, and how this and other metabolic anomalies allow diatoms to respond quickly to nitrate inputs and release from iron limitation. New research has shown that these many of the molecular responses observed in diatom model organisms under controlled experimental conditions, can be replicated in nutrient perturbation experiments of complex natural communities. This talk will focus on how in-depth investigation of gene expression and patterns of metabolic flux in diatom models has facilitated the identification of biomarkers for nutrient status of diatoms in the field, towards development of ecogenomic sensors capable of deployment in high-resolution spatial and temporal sampling.

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