A role for the cell-wall protein silacidin in cell size of the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana

Abstract : Diatoms contribute 20% of global primary production and form the basis of many marine food webs. Although their species diversity correlates with broad diversity in cell size, there is also an intraspecific cell-size plasticity owing to sexual reproduction and varying environmental conditions. However, despite the ecological significance of the diatom cell size for food-web structure and global biogeochemical cycles, our knowledge about genes underpinning the size of diatom cells remains elusive. Here, a combination of reverse genetics, experimental evolution and comparative RNA-sequencing analyses enabled us to identify a previously unknown genetic control of cell size in the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana. In particular, the targeted deregulation of the expression of the cell-wall protein silacidin caused a significant increase in valve diameter. Remarkably, the natural downregulation of the silacidin gene transcript due to experimental evolution under low temperature also correlated with cell-size increase. Our data give first evidence for a genetically controlled regulation of cell size in T. pseudonana and possibly other centric diatoms as they also encode the silacidin gene in their genomes.
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The ISME journal, International Society for Microbial Ecology 2017, 11 (11), pp.2452-2464. 〈10.1038/ismej.2017.100〉
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Amy R Kirkham, Patrick Richthammer, Katrin Schmidt, Martin Wustmann, Yoshiaki Maeda, et al.. A role for the cell-wall protein silacidin in cell size of the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana. The ISME journal, International Society for Microbial Ecology 2017, 11 (11), pp.2452-2464. 〈10.1038/ismej.2017.100〉. 〈hal-01630027〉

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