The State of Sulfur Metabolism in Algae: From Ecology to Genomics

  • Nakako Shibagaki
  • Arthur Grossman

Sulfur, primarily in the form of sulfate, is transported into algal and plant cells and reduced to sulfide in the chloroplast. Both sulfate and sulfide can be incorporated into a variety of sulfur-containing compounds critical for protein, lipid and polysaccharide synthesis, as well as signaling molecules. Most of our current knowledge about sulfur metabolism and the acclimation of photosynthetic organisms to conditions of sulfur deprivation, especially at the molecular level, are from studies that have exploited the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, or the freshwater alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. However, there are also novel aspects of the biosynthesis and function of sulfur metabolites, especially volatile metabolites synthesized by marine algae that might have antifreeze and antioxidant functions and also influence global features of climate. This chapter describes sulfate assimilation in algae and the adaptation and acclimation of algae to changing sulfur environments.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nakako Shibagaki
    • 1
  • Arthur Grossman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyCarnegie InstitutionStanfordUSA

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