Kroth, Peter G.

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Peter G.
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Sensing and Signalling in Diatom Responses to Abiotic Cues

2022, Jaubert, Marianne, Duchêne, Carole, Kroth, Peter G., Rogato, Alessandra, Bouly, Jean-Pierre, Falciatore, Angela

Diatoms are prominent microalgae that proliferate in a wide range of aquatic environments. Still, fundamental questions regarding their biology, such as how diatoms sense and respond to environmental variations, remain largely unanswered. In recent years, advances in the molecular and cell biology of diatoms and the increasing availability of genomic data have made it possible to explore sensing and signalling pathways in these algae. Pivotal studies of photosensory perception have highlighted the great capacity of diatoms to accurately detect environmental variations by sensing differential light signals and adjust their physiology accordingly. The characterization of photoreceptors and light-dependent processes described in this review, such as plastid signalling and diel regulation, is unveiling sensing systems which are unique to these algae, reflecting their complex evolutionary history and adaptation to aquatic life. Here, we also describe putative sensing components involved in the responses to nutrient, osmotic changes, and fluid motions. Continued elucidation of the molecular systems processing endogenous and environmental cues and their interactions with other biotic and abiotic stress signalling pathways is expected to greatly increase our understanding of the mechanisms controlling the abundance and distribution of the highly diverse diatom communities in marine ecosystems.

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The diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum adjusts nonphotochemical fluorescence quenching capacity in response to dynamic light via fine-tuned Lhcx and xanthophyll cycle pigment synthesis

2017-04, Lepetit, Bernard, Gélin, Gautier, Lepetit, Mariana, Sturm, Sabine, Vugrinec, Sascha, Rogato, Alessandra, Kroth, Peter G., Falciatore, Angela, Lavaud, Johann

Diatoms contain a highly flexible capacity to dissipate excessively absorbed light by nonphotochemical fluorescence quenching (NPQ) based on the light-induced conversion of diadinoxanthin (Dd) into diatoxanthin (Dt) and the presence of Lhcx proteins. Their NPQ fine regulation on the molecular level upon a shift to dynamic light conditions is unknown.

We investigated the regulation of Dd + Dt amount, Lhcx gene and protein synthesis and NPQ capacity in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum after a change from continuous low light to 3 d of sine (SL) or fluctuating (FL) light conditions. Four P. tricornutum strains with different NPQ capacities due to different expression of Lhcx1 were included.

All strains responded to dynamic light comparably, independently of initial NPQ capacity. During SL, NPQ capacity was strongly enhanced due to a gradual increase of Lhcx2 and Dd + Dt amount. During FL, cells enhanced their NPQ capacity on the first day due to increased Dd + Dt, Lhcx2 and Lhcx3; already by the second day light acclimation was accomplished. While quenching efficiency of Dt was strongly lowered during SL conditions, it remained high throughout the whole FL exposure.

Our results highlight a more balanced and cost-effective photoacclimation strategy of P. tricornutum under FL than under SL conditions.

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The Phaeodactylum genome reveals the evolutionary history of diatom genomes

2008, Bowler, Chris, Allen, Andrew E., Badger, Jonathan H., Grimwood, Jane, Jabbari, Kamel, Kuo, Alan, Maheswari, Uma, Martens, Cindy, Maumus, Florian, Otillar, Robert P., Rayko, Edda, Salamov, Asaf, Vandepoele, Klaas, Beszteri, Bank, Gruber, Ansgar, Heijde, Marc, Katinka, Michael, Mock, Thomas, Valentin, Klaus, Verret, Fréderic, Berges, John A., Brownlee, Colin, Cadoret, Jean-Paul, Chiovitti, Anthony, Choi, Chang Jae, Coesel, Sacha, De Martino, Alessandra, Detter, John Chris, Durkin, Colleen, Falciatore, Angela, Fournet, Jérome, Haruta, Miyoshi, Huysman, Marie J. J., Jenkins, Bethany D., Jiroutova, Katerina, Jorgensen, Richard E., Joubert, Yolaine, Kaplan, Aaron, Kröger, Nils, Kroth, Peter G., La Roche, Julie, Lindquist, Erica, Lommer, Markus, Martin Jézéquel, Véronique, Lopez, Pascal J., Lucas, Susan, Mangogna, Manuela, McGinnis, Karen, Medlin, Linda K., Montsant, Anton, Oudot Le Secq, Marie-Pierre, Napoli, Carolyn, Obornik, Miroslav, Schnitzler Parker, Micaela, Petit, Jean-Louis, Porcel, Betina M., Poulsen, Nicole, Robison, Matthew, Rychlewski, Leszek, Rynearson, Tatiana A., Schmutz, Jeremy, Shapiro, Harris, Siaut, Magali, Stanley, Michele S., Sussman, Michael R., Taylor, Alison R., Vardi, Assaf, Dassow, Peter von, Vyverman, Wim, Willis, Anusuya, Wyrwicz, Lucjan S., Rokhsar, Daniel S., Weissenbach, Jean, Armbrust, E. Virginia, Green, Beverley R., Van de Peer, Yves, Grigoriev, Igor V.

Diatoms are photosynthetic secondary endosymbionts found throughout marine and freshwater environments, and are believed to be responsible for around one-fifth of the primary productivity on Earth. The genome sequence of the marine centric diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana was recently reported, revealing a wealth of information about diatom biology. Here we report the complete genome sequence of the pennate diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum and compare it with that of T. pseudonana to clarify evolutionary origins, functional significance and ubiquity of these features throughout diatoms. In spite of the fact that the pennate and centric lineages have only been diverging for 90 million years, their genome structures are dramatically different and a substantial fraction of genes (40%) are not shared by these representatives of the two lineages. Analysis of molecular divergence compared with yeasts and metazoans reveals rapid rates of gene diversification in diatoms. Contributing factors include selective gene family expansions, differential losses and gains of genes and introns, and differential mobilization of transposable elements. Most significantly, we document the presence of hundreds of genes from bacteria. More than 300 of these gene transfers are found in both diatoms, attesting to their ancient origins, and many are likely to provide novel possibilities for metabolite management and for perception of environmental signals. These findings go a long way towards explaining the incredible diversity and success of the diatoms in contemporary oceans.

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Lhcx proteins provide photoprotection via thermal dissipation of absorbed light in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum

2019-09-13, Buck, Jochen Mario, Sherman, Jonathan, Río Bártulos, Carolina, Serif, Manuel, Halder, Marc, Henkel, Jan, Falciatore, Angela, Lavaud, Johann, Kroth, Peter G., Lepetit, Bernard

Diatoms possess an impressive capacity for rapidly inducible thermal dissipation of excess absorbed energy (qE), provided by the xanthophyll diatoxanthin and Lhcx proteins. By knocking out the Lhcx1 and Lhcx2 genes individually in Phaeodactylum tricornutum strain 4 and complementing the knockout lines with different Lhcx proteins, multiple mutants with varying qE capacities are obtained, ranging from zero to high values. We demonstrate that qE is entirely dependent on the concerted action of diatoxanthin and Lhcx proteins, with Lhcx1, Lhcx2 and Lhcx3 having similar functions. Moreover, we establish a clear link between Lhcx1/2/3 mediated inducible thermal energy dissipation and a reduction in the functional absorption cross-section of photosystem II. This regulation of the functional absorption cross-section can be tuned by altered Lhcx protein expression in response to environmental conditions. Our results provide a holistic understanding of the rapidly inducible thermal energy dissipation process and its mechanistic implications in diatoms.

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High light acclimation in the secondary plastids containing diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum is triggered by the redox state of the plastoquinone pool

2013-02, Lepetit, Bernard, Sturm, Sabine, Rogato, Alessandra, Gruber, Ansgar, Sachse, Matthias, Falciatore, Angela, Kroth, Peter G., Lavaud, Johann

In diatoms, the process of energy-dependent chlorophyll fluorescence quenching (qE) has an important role in photoprotection. Three components are essential for qE: (1) the light-dependent generation of a transthylakoidal proton gradient; (2) the deepoxidation of the xanthophyll diadinoxanthin (Dd) into diatoxanthin (Dt); and (3) specific nucleus-encoded antenna proteins, called Light Harvesting Complex Protein X (LHCX). We used the model diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum to investigate the concerted light acclimation response of the qE key components LHCX, proton gradient, and xanthophyll cycle pigments (Dd+Dt) and to identify the intracellular light-responsive trigger. At high-light exposure, the up-regulation of three of the LHCX genes and the de novo synthesis of Dd+Dt led to a pronounced rise of qE. By inhibiting either the conversion of Dd to Dt or the translation of LHCX genes, qE amplification was abolished and the diatom cells suffered from stronger photoinhibition. Artificial modification of the redox state of the plastoquinone (PQ) pool via 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea and 5-dibromo-6-isopropyl-3-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone resulted in a disturbance of Dd+Dt synthesis in an opposite way. Moreover, we could increase the transcription of two of the four LHCX genes under low-light conditions by reducing the PQ pool using 5-dibromo-6-isopropyl-3-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone. Altogether, our results underline the central role of the redox state of the PQ pool in the light acclimation of diatoms. Additionally, they emphasize strong evidence for the existence of a plastid-to-nucleus retrograde signaling mechanism in an organism with plastids that derived from secondary endosymbiosis.

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Genome editing in diatoms : achievements and goals

2018-10, Kroth, Peter G., Bones, Atle M., Daboussi, Fayza, Ferrante, Maria I., Jaubert, Marianne, Kolot, Misha, Nymark, Marianne, Río Bártulos, Carolina, Serif, Manuel, Falciatore, Angela

Diatoms are major components of phytoplankton and play a key role in the ecology of aquatic ecosystems. These algae are of great scientific importance for a wide variety of research areas, ranging from marine ecology and oceanography to biotechnology. During the last 20 years, the availability of genomic information on selected diatom species and a substantial progress in genetic manipulation, strongly contributed to establishing diatoms as molecular model organisms for marine biology research. Recently, tailored TALEN endonucleases and the CRISPR/Cas9 system were utilized in diatoms, allowing targeted genetic modifications and the generation of knockout strains. These approaches are extremely valuable for diatom research because breeding, forward genetic screens by random insertion, and chemical mutagenesis are not applicable to the available model species Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Thalassiosira pseudonana, which do not cross sexually in the lab. Here, we provide an overview of the genetic toolbox that is currently available for performing stable genetic modifications in diatoms. We also discuss novel challenges that need to be addressed to fully exploit the potential of these technologies for the characterization of diatom biology and for metabolic engineering.

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AUREOCHROME1a-Mediated Induction of the Diatom-Specific Cyclin dsCYC2 Controls the Onset of Cell Division in Diatoms (Phaeodactylum tricornutum)

2013-01, Huysman, Marie, Fortunato, Antonio, Matthijs, Michiel, Schellenberger Costa, Benjamin, Vanderhaeghen, Rudy, Van den Daele, Hilde, Sachse, Matthias, Inzé, Dirk, Bowler, Chris, Kroth, Peter G., Wilhelm, Christian, Falciatore, Angela, Vyverman, Wim, De Veylder, Lieven

Cell division in photosynthetic organisms is tightly regulated by light. Although the light dependency of the onset of the cell cycle has been well characterized in various phototrophs, little is known about the cellular signaling cascades connecting light perception to cell cycle activation and progression. Here, we demonstrate that diatom-specific cyclin 2 (dsCYC2) in Phaeodactylum tricornutum displays a transcriptional peak within 15 min after light exposure, long before the onset of cell division. The product of dsCYC2 binds to the cyclin-dependent kinase CDKA1 and can complement G1 cyclin-deficient yeast. Consistent with the role of dsCYC2 in controlling a G1-to-S light-dependent cell cycle checkpoint, dsCYC2 silencing decreases the rate of cell division in diatoms exposed to light-dark cycles but not to constant light. Transcriptional induction of dsCYC2 is triggered by blue light in a fluence rate-dependent manner. Consistent with this, dsCYC2 is a transcriptional target of the blue light sensor AUREOCHROME1a, which functions synergistically with the basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor bZIP10 to induce dsCYC2 transcription. The functional characterization of a cyclin whose transcription is controlled by light and whose activity connects light signaling to cell cycle progression contributes significantly to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying light-dependent cell cycle onset in diatoms.