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Metabolites 2013, 3(2), 325-346; doi:10.3390/metabo3020325

The Central Carbon and Energy Metabolism of Marine Diatoms

Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie, Am Mühlenberg 1, Potsdam-Golm 14476, Germany
Max-Planck Partner Group, Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa 36570-000, Minas Gerais , Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 March 2013 / Revised: 25 April 2013 / Accepted: 25 April 2013 / Published: 7 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Collection Metabolism in Phototrophic Prokaryotes and Algae)
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Diatoms are heterokont algae derived from a secondary symbiotic event in which a eukaryotic host cell acquired an eukaryotic red alga as plastid. The multiple endosymbiosis and horizontal gene transfer processes provide diatoms unusual opportunities for gene mixing to establish distinctive biosynthetic pathways and metabolic control structures. Diatoms are also known to have significant impact on global ecosystems as one of the most dominant phytoplankton species in the contemporary ocean. As such their metabolism and growth regulating factors have been of particular interest for many years. The publication of the genomic sequences of two independent species of diatoms and the advent of an enhanced experimental toolbox for molecular biological investigations have afforded far greater opportunities than were previously apparent for these species and re-invigorated studies regarding the central carbon metabolism of diatoms. In this review we discuss distinctive features of the central carbon metabolism of diatoms and its response to forthcoming environmental changes and recent advances facilitating the possibility of industrial use of diatoms for oil production. Although the operation and importance of several key pathways of diatom metabolism have already been demonstrated and determined, we will also highlight other potentially important pathways wherein this has yet to be achieved.
Keywords: diatoms; Phaeodactylum tricornutum; Thalassiosira pseudonana; central carbon metabolism; photosynthesis; biofuel; lipid biosynthesis diatoms; Phaeodactylum tricornutum; Thalassiosira pseudonana; central carbon metabolism; photosynthesis; biofuel; lipid biosynthesis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Obata, T.; Fernie, A.R.; Nunes-Nesi, A. The Central Carbon and Energy Metabolism of Marine Diatoms. Metabolites 2013, 3, 325-346.

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