The diatom Phaeodactylum is rich in very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Fatty acid (FA) synthesis, elongation, and desaturation have been studied in depth in plants including Arabidopsis, but for secondary endosymbionts the full picture remains unclear. FAs are synthesized up to a chain length of 18 carbons inside chloroplasts, where they can be incorporated into glycerolipids. They are also exported to the ER for phospho- and betaine lipid syntheses. Elongation of FAs up to 22 carbons occurs in the ER. PUFAs can be reimported into plastids to serve as precursors for glycerolipids. In both organelles, FA desaturases are present, introducing double bonds between carbon atoms and giving rise to a variety of molecular species. In addition to the four desaturases characterized in Phaeodactylum (FAD2, FAD6, PtD5, PtD6), we identified eight putative desaturase genes. Combining subcellular localization predictions and comparisons with desaturases from other organisms like Arabidopsis, we propose a scheme at the whole cell level, including features that are likely specific to secondary endosymbionts.