Currently, l-serine is mainly produced by enzymatic conversion, in which serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT) is the key enzyme, suggesting the importance of searching for a SHMT with high activity. Shewanella algae, a methanol-utilizing marine bacterium showing high SHMT activity, was selected based on screening bacterial strains and comparison of the activities of SHMTs. A glyA was isolated from the S. algae through thermal asymmetric interlaced PCR (TAIL-PCR) and it encoded a 417 amino acid polypeptide. The SaSHMT, encoded by the glyA, showed the optimal activity at 50°C and pH 7.0, and retained over 45% of its maximal activity after incubation at 40°C for 3h. The enzyme showed better stability under alkaline environment (pH 6.5-9.0) than Hyphomicrobium methylovorum GM2's SHMT (pH 6.0-7.5). The SaSHMT can produce 77.76mM of l-serine by enzymatic conversion, with the molecular conversion rate in catalyzing glycine to l-serine being 1.41-fold higher than that of Escherichia coli. Therefore, the SaSHMT has the potential for industrial applications due to its tolerance of alkaline environment and a relatively high enzymatic conversion rate.