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Perception of environmental signals by a marine diatom.

TitlePerception of environmental signals by a marine diatom.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsFalciatore, A, Riberà d'Alcalà, M, Croot, P, Bowler, C
Date Published2000 Jun 30
KeywordsAdaptation, Physiological, Aequorin, Biological Transport, Calcium, Calcium Signaling, Chlorides, Culture Media, Diatoms, Ferric Compounds, Homeostasis, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Iron, Kinetics, Osmolar Concentration, Osmotic Pressure, Seawater, Stress, Mechanical, Transformation, Genetic, Transgenes

Diatoms are a key component of marine ecosystems and are extremely important for the biogeochemical cycling of silica and as contributors to global fixed carbon. However, the answers to fundamental questions such as what diatoms can sense in their environment, how they respond to external signals, and what factors control their life strategies are largely unknown. We generated transgenic diatom cells containing the calcium-sensitive photoprotein aequorin to determine whether changes in calcium homeostasis are used to respond to relevant environmental stimuli. Our results reveal sensing systems for detecting and responding to fluid motion (shear stress), osmotic stress, and iron, a key nutrient that controls diatom abundance in the ocean.

Alternate JournalScience
PubMed ID10875921

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