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A sex-inducing pheromone triggers cell cycle arrest and mate attraction in the diatom Seminavis robusta
Moeys, S.; Frenkel, J.; Lembke, C.; Gillard, J.; Devos, V.; Van den Berge, K.; Bouillon, B.; Huysman, M.J.J.; De Decker, S.; Scharf, J.; Bones, A.; Brembu, T.; Winge, P.; Sabbe, K.; Vuylsteke, M.; Clement, L.; De Veylder, L.; Pohnert, G.; Vyverman, W. (2016). A sex-inducing pheromone triggers cell cycle arrest and mate attraction in the diatom Seminavis robusta. NPG Scientific Reports 6(19252): 13 pp.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Authors  Top 
  • Moeys, S.
  • Frenkel, J.
  • Lembke, C.
  • Gillard, J., more
  • Devos, V., more
  • Van den Berge, K., more
  • Bouillon, B., more
  • Huysman, M.J.J., more
  • De Decker, S., more
  • Scharf, J.
  • Bones, A.
  • Brembu, T.
  • Winge, P.
  • Sabbe, K., more
  • Vuylsteke, M., more
  • Clement, L., more
  • De Veylder, L., more
  • Pohnert, G.
  • Vyverman, W., more

    Although sexual reproduction is believed to play a major role in the high diversification rates and species richness of diatoms, a mechanistic understanding of diatom life cycle control is virtually lacking. Diatom sexual signalling is controlled by a complex, yet largely unknown, pheromone system. Here, a sex-inducing pheromone (SIP+) of the benthic pennate diatom Seminavis robusta was identified by comparative metabolomics, subsequently purified, and physicochemically characterized. Transcriptome analysis revealed that SIP+ triggers the switch from mitosis-to-meiosis in the opposing mating type, coupled with the transcriptional induction of proline biosynthesis genes, and the release of the proline-derived attraction pheromone. The induction of cell cycle arrest by a pheromone, chemically distinct from the one used to attract the opposite mating type, highlights the existence of a sophisticated mechanism to increase chances of mate finding, while keeping the metabolic losses associated with the release of an attraction pheromone to a minimum.

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