Metabolic flux ratio analysis and cell staining suggest the existence of C4 photosynthesis inPhaeodactylum tricornutum

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Abstract

Aims:

Mechanisms for carbon fixation via photosynthesis in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum Bohlin were studied recently but there remains a long-standing debate concerning the occurrence of C4 photosynthesis in this species. A thorough investigation of carbon metabolism and the evidence for C4 photosynthesis based on organelle partitioning was needed.

Methods and Results:

In this study, we identified the flux ratios between C3 and C4 compounds in P. tricornutum using 13C-labelling metabolic flux ratio analysis, and stained cells with various cell-permeant fluorescent probes to investigate the likely organelle partitioning required for single-cell C4 photosynthesis. Metabolic flux ratio analysis indicated the C3/C4 exchange ratios were high. Cell staining indicated organelle partitioning required for single-cell C4 photosynthesis might exist in P. tricornutum.

Conclusion:

The results of 13C-labelling metabolic flux ratio analysis and cell staining suggest single-cell C4 photosynthesis exists in P. tricornutum.

Significance and Impact of the Study:

This study provides insights into photosynthesis patterns of P. tricornutum and the evidence for C4 photosynthesis based on 13C-labelling metabolic flux ratio analysis and organelle partitioning.

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