Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 839–850 | Cite as

Distribution of alkaline phosphatase genes in cyanobacteria and the role of alkaline phosphatase on the acquisition of phosphorus from dissolved organic phosphorus for cyanobacterial growth

  • Weitie Lin
  • Dandan Zhao
  • Jianfei Luo


Phosphorus is a vital nutrient for cyanobacterial growth. Aside from dissolved inorganic phosphorus, dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) is used by cyanobacterial species via the activity of alkaline phosphatase (APase), which likely plays an important role in acquiring phosphorus for algal growth in the same manner as it does in other bacteria. In this work, APase genes phoA, phoD, and phoX were found distributed in the cyanobacterial strains included in the algal genome collection of the NCBI database. PhoX has a wider distribution than the classical phoA and phoD. Furthermore, multiple types of APase genes were simultaneously identified in a single strain or genome. Anabaena flos-aquae FACHB-245 was selected as a typical strain to study the performance of cyanobacteria growing on DOP. In algal growth involving AMP or lecithin, APase regulates the release of phosphorus from DOP as confirmed by the relative quantification of phoD and phoX expression levels. Our results confirmed that the distribution of APase is prevalent in cyanobacteria and thus provides a new insight into the potential role of cyanobacterial APase on phosphorus acquisition in natural environment.


Alkaline phosphatase Cyanobacteria Dissolved organic phosphorus Distribution 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21276099, No. 41301318, No. 41473072), the Specialized Research Found for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (No. 20120172120045), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2015ZM171).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Guangdong Key Laboratory of Fermentation and Enzyme Engineering, School of Biology and Biological EngineeringSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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