Differential gene expression supports a resource-intensive, defensive role for colony production in the bloom-forming haptophyte, Phaeocystis globosa

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Margaret Mars Brisbin, Satoshi Mitarai


Phaeocystis globosa forms dense, monospecific blooms in temperate, northern waters. Blooms are usually dominated by the colonial morphotype: non-flagellated cells embedded in a secreted mucilaginous mass. Colonial Phaeocystis blooms significantly affect food-web structure and function and negatively impact fisheries and aquaculture, but factors initiating colony production remain enigmatic. Destructive P. globosa blooms have been reported in tropical and subtropical regions more recently and warm-water blooms could become more common with continued climate change and coastal eutrophication. We therefore assessed genetic pathways associated with colony production by investigating differential gene expression between colonial and solitary cells in a warm-water Phaeocystis globosa strain. Our results illustrate a transcriptional shift in colonial cells with most of the differentially expressed genes downregulated, supporting a reallocation of resources associated with colony production. Dimethyl sulfide and acrylate production and pathogen interaction pathways were upregulated in colonial cells, suggesting a defensive role for colony production. We identify several protein kinase signaling pathways that may influence the transitio...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Bloom Syndrome
Gene Expression
Physiological Aspects
Protein KINASE
Signal Pathways
Transcription, Genetic
Up-Regulation (Physiology)
Dimethyl sulfide
Solitary Tract

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