Phytoplankton and iron transport: From populations to proteins


Marine diatoms are responsible for about 25% of global carbon dioxide sequestration each year, yet in vast regions of the ocean their growth is limited by Fe.  Despite diatoms’ global importance in biogeochemical cycling and in the structure/function of marine ecosystems, and the strong influence of iron on their relative success, our understanding of Fe acquisition in marine diatoms is still in its adolescence.
We combine genome enabled methods with kinetic 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

modeling of aqueous chemical reactions to investigate mechanisms of iron transport.  Specifically, we explore the transcriptomes (messenger RNA) and cell surface proteomes to detect and quantify potentially novel transporters for Fe found in various chemical forms, including uncomplexed Fe as well as that bound to strong compounds called siderophores (see following description on "Lab and field investigations of Fe uptake from siderophores").