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Gene expression during bacterivorous growth of a widespread marine heterotrophic flagellate
Massana, R.; Labarre, A.; López-Escardó, D.; Obiol, A.; Bucchini, F.; Hackl, T.; Fischer, M.G.; Vandepoele, K.; Tikhonenkov, D.V.; Husnik, F.; Keeling, P.J. (2021). Gene expression during bacterivorous growth of a widespread marine heterotrophic flagellate. ISME J. 15(1): 154-167.
In: The ISME Journal: Multidisciplinary Journal of Microbial Ecology. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 1751-7362; e-ISSN 1751-7370, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Authors  Top 
  • Massana, R.
  • Labarre, A.
  • López-Escardó, D.
  • Obiol, A.
  • Bucchini, F., more
  • Hackl, T.
  • Fischer, M.G.
  • Vandepoele, K., more
  • Tikhonenkov, D.V.
  • Husnik, F.
  • Keeling, P.J.

    Phagocytosis is a fundamental process in marine ecosystems by which prey organisms are consumed and their biomass incorporated in food webs or remineralized. However, studies searching for the genes underlying this key ecological process in free-living phagocytizing protists are still scarce, in part due to the lack of appropriate ecological models. Our reanalysis of recent molecular datasets revealed that the cultured heterotrophic flagellate Cafeteria burkhardae is widespread in the global oceans, which prompted us to design a transcriptomics study with this species, grown with the cultured flavobacterium Dokdonia sp. We compared the gene expression between exponential and stationary phases, which were complemented with three starvation by dilution phases that appeared as intermediate states. We found distinct expression profiles in each condition and identified 2056 differentially expressed genes between exponential and stationary samples. Upregulated genes at the exponential phase were related to DNA duplication, transcription and translational machinery, protein remodeling, respiration and phagocytosis, whereas upregulated genes in the stationary phase were involved in signal transduction, cell adhesion, and lipid metabolism. We identified a few highly expressed phagocytosis genes, like peptidases and proton pumps, which could be used to target this ecologically relevant process in marine ecosystems.

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