You are here

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

TitleA role for the cell-wall protein silacidin in cell size of the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsKirkham, AR, Richthammer, P, Schmidt, K, Wustmann, M, Maeda, Y, Hedrich, R, Brunner, E, Tanaka, T, van Pée, K-H, Falciatore, A, Mock, T
JournalISME J
Volume11
Issue11
Pagination2452-2464
Date Published2017 Nov
ISSN1751-7370
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.

DOI10.1038/ismej.2017.100
Alternate JournalISME J
PubMed ID28731468
PubMed Central IDPMC5649158