Molybdenum is an essential element for almost all living beings, which, in the form of a molybdopterin-cofactor, participates in the active site of enzymes involved in key reactions of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur metabolism. This metal is taken up by cells in form of the oxyanion molybdate. Bacteria acquire molybdate by an ATP-binding-cassette (ABC) transport system in a widely studied process, but how eukaryotic cells take up molybdenum is unknown because molybdate transporters have not been identified so far. Here, we report a eukaryotic high-affinity molybdate transporter, encoded by the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii gene MoT1. An antisense RNA strategy over the MoT1 gene showed that interference of the expression of this gene leads to the inhibition of molybdate transport activity and, in turn, of the Mo-containing enzyme nitrate reductase, indicating a function of MoT1 in molybdate transport. MOT1 functionality was also shown by heterologous expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Molybdate uptake mediated by MOT1 showed a K(m) of approximately 6 nM, which is the range of the lowest K(m) values reported and was activated in the presence of nitrate. Analysis of deduced sequence from the putative protein coded by MoT1 showed motifs specifically conserved in similar proteins present in the databases, and defines a family of membrane proteins in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes probably involved in molybdate transport and distantly related to plant sulfate transporters SULTR. These findings represent an important step in the understanding of molybdate transport, a crucial process in eukaryotic cells.