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YSFRI Published Research Progress of Evolution Trends and Mechanisms of Arsenic Metabolism in Marine Diatoms in the ISME Journal


 Recently, an article entitled “Acclimation and adaptation to elevated pCO2 increase arsenic resilience in marine diatoms” was published in the ISME journal by a team from YSFRI led by Professor Ye Naihao. The new findings show that the elevated pCO2 could decrease arsenic accumulation in diatom and reduce arsenic transferring across trophic levels in the food chain, and provide the molecular mechanism of arsenic metabolism and detoxification under ocean acidification.

 Phytoplankton are important contributors to marine primary productivity and indispensable carriers of elemental biogeochemical cycles. Diatoms contribute up to approximately 40% of global primary productivity and serve as primary accumulators of trace metal irons. Their metabolic changes in response to elevated pCO2 will have an important impact on the biogeochemical cycle of elements in marine ecosystems (eg. Zhang et al., Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2020).

 The team employed multidisciplinary approaches to uncover the effect of increasing pCO2 on arsenic resilience and metabolic mechanism of three model diatoms of Phaeodactylum tricornutum, Thalassiosira pseudonana and Chaetoceros mulleri across different spatial and temporal scales. It is found that elevated pCO2 decreased arsenic accumulation in diatoms and reduced arsenic transferring capacity in the food chain. Acidification promoted the process of arsenic complexation and sequestration within cells and increased arsenic efflux outside the cells to detoxification. The results have implications for the better understanding of the arsenic metabolic responses of marine biology to climate change and provide a theoretical basis for evaluating the evolution trends and ecological effects of arsenic biogeochemical cycles in marine ecosystems in the future.

 The first author of the article is Dr. Xu Dong and the corresponding author is Professor Ye Naihao. The researchers from University of Hamburg (Germany), Shandong Marine Resource and Environment Research Institute (Yantai, China), Ludong University (Yantai, China), and University of Southern California (USA) also participated in this study.

Full text links:

1. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41396-020-00873-y

2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030438942030738X

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Figure 1 Conceptual diagram showing an altered biogeochemical cycle of arsenic under increasing ocean acidification and arsenic pollution.

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Figure 2 Comparison of relative change of carbon-use efficiency (CUE) in P. tricornutum, T. pseudonana, and C. mulleri after long term selection between indoor and outdoor experiments.

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Figure 3 Diagram reflecting an altered arsenic pathway of P. tricornutum under elevated pCO2.

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