You are here

Diatom Genomics


Diatoms are a key phytoplankton group in the contemporary ocean. The recent availability of whole genome sequences from representative species has revealed distinct features in their genomes, and studies of their biology promise to reveal many novel aspects. Major objective of our research is to fully exploit novel genetic tools and genomic information to identify the mechanisms controlling diatom growth and distribution in the marine environment. Ecological questions drive our molecular investigations.

Because light is a key environmental signal for photosynthetic organisms, we are performing a comprehensive characterization of diatom light responses by studying:

- the diatom photoreceptors, their signaling pathways and their function in vivo;

- the diatom response to light stress, dissecting key photoprotection mechanisms;

- the light regulated rhythmic processes and their unknown regulators;

- the genetic regulatory elements driving genome expression and light response regulation, characterizing the diatom small non-coding RNAs and gene silencing pathways through computational and experimental approaches.

Selected Publications
Taddei L, Chukhutsina V, Lepetit B, Stella GR, Bassi R, van Amerongen H, Bouly J-P, Jaubert M, Finazzi G, Falciatore A.
Dynamic changes between two LHCX-related energy quenching sites control diatom photoacclimation.
Plant Physiology. (2018).
Jaubert M, Bouly J-P, d'Alcalà MRibera, Falciatore A.
Light sensing and responses in marine microalgae.
Curr Opin Plant Biol. 37, pp.70-77 (2017).
Lepetit B, Gelin G, Lepetit M, Sturm S, Vugrinec S, Rogato A, Peter K, Falciatore A, Lavaud J.
The diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum adjusts NPQ capacity in response to dynamic light via fine-tuned Lhcx and xanthophyll cycle pigment synthesis.
New Phytologist. 214(1), pp.1469-8137 (2017).
Fortunato AE, Jaubert M, Enomoto G, Bouly J-P, Raniello R, Thaler M, Malviya S, Bernardes JS, Rappaport F, Gentili B, Huysman MJJ, Carbone A, Bowler C, Riberà d'Alcalà M, Ikeuchi M, Falciatore A.
Diatom Phytochromes Reveal the Existence of Far-Red-Light-Based Sensing in the Ocean.
The Plant Cell. 28(3), pp.616 - 628 (2016).
Taddei L, Stella GR, Rogato A, Bailleul B, Fortunato AE, Annunziata R, Sanges R, Thaler M, Lepetit B, Lavaud J, Jaubert M, Finazzi G, Bouly J-P, Falciatore A.
Multisignal control of expression of the LHCX protein family in marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum.
Journal Experimental Botany. 67(13), pp.3939-51 (2016).
Fortunato AE, Annunziata R, Jaubert M, Bouly J-P, Falciatore A.
Dealing with light: The widespread and multitasking cryptochrome/photolyase family in photosynthetic organisms.
J Plant Physiol. 172, pp.42-54 (2015).
Daboussi F, Leduc S, Maréchal A, Dubois G, Guyot V, Perez-Michaut C, Amato A, Falciatore A, Juillerat A, Beurdeley M, Voytas DF, Cavarec L, Duchateau P.
Genome engineering empowers the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum for biotechnology.
Nat Commun. 5, pp.3831 (2014).
Rogato A, Richard H, Sarazin A, Voss B, Cheminant Navarro S, Champeimont R, Navarro L, Carbone A, Hess WR, Falciatore A.
The diversity of small non-coding RNAs in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum.
BMC Genomics. 15, pp.698 (2014).
Bowler C, Falciatore A.
The molecular life of diatoms.
Mar Genomics. (2014).
Huysman MJJ, Fortunato AE, Matthijs M, Costa BSchellenbe, Vanderhaeghen R, Van den Daele H, Sachse M, Inzé D, Bowler C, Kroth PG, Wilhelm C, Falciatore A, Vyverman W, De Veylder L.
AUREOCHROME1a-mediated induction of the diatom-specific cyclin dsCYC2 controls the onset of cell division in diatoms (Phaeodactylum tricornutum).
Plant Cell. 25(1), pp.215-28 (2013).

Open Positions