Apr 29, 2020

Bistability in oxidative stress response determines the migration behavior of phytoplankton in turbulence

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
F. CarraraR. Stocker

Abstract

Turbulence is an important determinant of phytoplankton physiology, often leading to cell stress and damage. Turbulence affects phytoplankton migration, both by transporting cells and by triggering switches in migratory behavior, whereby vertically migrating cells can invert their direction of migration upon exposure to turbulent cues. However, a mechanistic link between single-cell physiology and vertical migration of phytoplankton in turbulence is currently missing. Here, by combining physiological and behavioral experiments with a mathematical model of stress accumulation and dissipation, we show that the mechanism responsible for the switch in the direction of migration in the marine raphidophyte Heterosigma akashiwo is the integration of reactive oxygen species (ROS) signaling generated by turbulent cues. Within timescales as short as tens of seconds, the emergent downward-migrating subpopulation exhibited a two-fold increase of ROS, an indicator of stress, 15% lower photosynthetic efficiency, and 35% lower growth rate over multiple generations compared to the upward-migrating subpopulation. The origin of the behavioral split in a bistable oxidative stress response is corroborated by the observation that exposure of cells ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Microorganism
Study
Pathogenic Organism
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Spatial Distribution
Etiology
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Virulence

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