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Low-Affinity Nitrate Transporters in diatoms, diNPFs: identification, evolution, structure and function

Alessandra Rogato 
IBBR - UOS Napoli - Italy

July 28, 2021 (11:30-12:30)
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Abstract: Diatoms are one of the major and most diverse groups of phytoplankton, often exposed to unpredictable environmental conditions changings, among which nutrient availability. In particular, nitrogen (N) concentration in the ocean shows significant temporal and spatial variability, which affects the growth and the distribution of phytoplankton, but the molecular mechanisms that allow diatoms to efficiently cope with N availability remain largely unknown. Recent studies uncovered an unexpected complexity and revealed that diatoms host a larger suite of N-related proteins and, in particular, N transporters, than one would expect for a unicellular organism. The work aims at investigating the molecular mechanisms of N metabolism, focusing on N sensing and uptake in marine diatoms, through the identification and functional characterization of specific transporters. The low and high affinity nitrate (NO3-) transporter family members are expected to be of particular relevance because NO3- represents the major N source in the ocean. For this reason, taking advantage of recent advances in diatom genomics and combining genome enabled tools with classical eco-physiological and biophysical approaches, the project aims to provide a comprehensive and unprecedented look into diatom response to N and into the role of NO3- transporter genes, shedding light on the evolutionary advantages of these genes and on the N metabolism in diatoms

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Istituto di Bioscienze e Biorisorse (IBBR/CNR)
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