Kroth, Peter G.

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.


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.


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.