Transcriptomic Analyses of Scrippsiella trochoidea Reveals Processes Regulating Encystment and Dormancy in the Life Cycle of a Dinoflagellate, with a Particular Attention to the Role of Abscisic Acid.
ABSTRACT: Due to the vital importance of resting cysts in the biology and ecology of many dinoflagellates, a transcriptomic investigation on Scrippsiella trochoidea was conducted with the aim to reveal the molecular processes and relevant functional genes regulating encystment and dormancy in dinoflagellates. We identified via RNA-seq 3,874 (out of 166,575) differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between resting cysts and vegetative cells; a pause of photosynthesis (confirmed via direct measurement of photosynthetic efficiency); an active catabolism including ?-oxidation, glycolysis, glyoxylate pathway, and TCA in resting cysts (tested via measurements of respiration rate); 12 DEGs encoding meiotic recombination proteins and members of MEI2-like family potentially involved in sexual reproduction and encystment; elevated expressions in genes encoding enzymes responding to pathogens (chitin deacetylase) and ROS stress in cysts; and 134 unigenes specifically expressed in cysts. We paid particular attention to genes pertaining to phytohormone signaling and identified 4 key genes regulating abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis and catabolism, with further characterization based on their full-length cDNA obtained via RACE-PCR. The qPCR results demonstrated elevated biosynthesis and repressed catabolism of ABA during the courses of encystment and cyst dormancy, which was significantly enhanced by lower temperature (4 ± 1°C) and darkness. Direct measurements of ABA using UHPLC-MS/MS and ELISA in vegetative cells and cysts both fully supported qPCR results. These results collectively suggest a vital role of ABA in regulating encystment and maintenance of dormancy, akin to its function in seed dormancy of higher plants. Our results provided a critical advancement in understanding molecular processes in resting cysts of dinoflagellates.
Project description:Ciliated protists are a large group of single-cell eukaryotes, leading to the resting cysts in unfavorable environmental condition. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of encystment in the free-living ciliates is poorly understood. Here we show that the resting cysts are better than the vegetative cells of Euplotes encysticus in adverse survivor with respect to energy metabolism. Therefore scale identification of encystment-related proteins in Euplotes encysticus was investigated by iTRAQ analysis. We analyzed a total of 130 proteins, in which 19 proteins involving 12 upregulated and 7 downregulated proteins were associated with encystment in the resting cysts in comparison with the vegetative cells. Moreover, direct fluorescent labeling analysis showed that the vegetative cells treated with shRNA-?-tubulin recombinant E. coli accumulated a large number of granular materials, and dramatic cell morphology changes. Importantly, the cell membrane rupture phenomenon was observed after three weeks of shRNA-?-tubulin interference as compared to the control group. These results revealed that different proteins might play an important role in the process of the vegetative cells into the resting cysts. These results will help to reveal the morphological changes and molecular mechanism of resting cyst formation of ciliates.
Project description:In order to identify and reveal the proteins related to encystment of the ciliate Euplotes encysticus, we analyzed variation in the abundance of the proteins isolated from the resting cyst comparing with proteins in the vegetative cell. 2-D electrophoresis, MALDI-TOF MS techniques and Bioinformatics were used for proteome separation, quantification and identification. The comparative proteomics studies revealed 26 proteins with changes on the expression in the resting cysts, including 12 specific proteins and 14 differential proteins. 12 specific proteins and 10 out of the 14 differential proteins were selected and identified by MALDI-TOF MS. The identified specific proteins with known functions included type II cytoskeletal 1, keratin, Nop16 domain containing protein, protein arginine n-methyltransferase, epsilon-trimethyllysine hydroxylase and calpain-like protein. The identified differential proteins with known functions included Lysozyme C, keratinocyte growth factor, lysozyme homolog AT-2, formate acetyltransferase, alpha S1 casein and cold-shock protein. We discussed the functions of these proteins as well as their contribution in the process of encystment. These identified proteins covered a wide range of molecular functions, including gene regulation, RNA regulation, proteins degradation and oxidation resistance, stress response, material transport and cytoskeleton organization. Therefore, differential expression of these proteins was essential for cell morphological and physiological changes during encystment. This suggested that the peculiar proteins and differential proteins might play important roles in the process of the vegetative cells transforming into the resting cysts. These observations may be novel findings that bring new insights into the detailed mechanisms of dormancy.
Project description:The transformation of a ciliate into cyst is an advance strategy against an adverse situation. However, the molecular mechanism for the encystation of free-living ciliates is poorly understood. A large-scale identification of the encystment-related proteins and genes in ciliate would provide us with deeper insights into the molecular mechanisms for the encystations of ciliate. We identified the encystment-related proteins and genes in Pseudourostyla cristata with shotgun LC-MS/MS and scale qRT-PCR, respectively, in this report. A total of 668 proteins were detected in the resting cysts, 102 of these proteins were high credible proteins, whereas 88 high credible proteins of the 724 total proteins were found in the vegetative cells. Compared with the vegetative cell, 6 specific proteins were found in the resting cyst. However, the majority of high credible proteins in the resting cyst and the vegetative cell were co-expressed. We compared 47 genes of the co-expressed proteins with known functions in both the cyst and the vegetative cell using scale qRT-PCR. Twenty-seven of 47 genes were differentially expressed in the cyst compared with the vegetative cell. In our identifications, many uncharacterized proteins were also found. These results will help reveal the molecular mechanism for the formation of cyst in ciliates.
Project description:Dormancy inhibits seed and bud growth of perennial plants until the environmental conditions are optimal for survival. Previous studies indicated that certain co-regulation pathways exist in seed and bud dormancy. In our study, we found that seed and bud dormancy are similar to some extent but show different reactions to chemical treatments that induce breaking of dormancy. Whether the abscisic acid (ABA) regulatory networks are similar in dormant peach seeds and buds is not well known; however, ABA is generally believed to play a critical role in seed and bud dormancy. In peach, some genes putatively involved in ABA synthesis and catabolism were identified and their expression patterns were studied to learn more about ABA homeostasis and the possible crosstalk between bud dormancy and seed dormancy mechanisms. The analysis demonstrated that two 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase-encoding genes seem to be key in regulating ABA biosynthesis to induce seed and bud dormancy. Three CYP707As play an overlapping role in controlling ABA inactivation, resulting in dormancy-release. In addition, Transcript analysis of ABA metabolism-related genes was much similar demonstrated that ABA pathways was similar in the regulation of vegetative and flower bud dormancy, whereas, expression patterns of ABA metabolism-related genes were different in seed dormancy showed that ABA pathway maybe different in regulating seed dormancy in peach.
Project description:The small heat shock protein (sHsp) and Hsp40 are Hsp members that have not been intensively investigated but are functionally important in most organisms. In this study, the potential roles of a <i>Hsp20</i> (<i>StHsp20</i>) and a <i>Hsp40</i> (<i>StHsp40</i>) in dinoflagellates during adaptation to temperature fluctuation and alteration of different life stages were explored using the representative harmful algal blooms (HABs)-causative dinoflagellate species, <i>Scrippsiella trochoidea</i>. We isolated the full-length cDNAs of the two genes via rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) and tracked their differential transcriptions via real-time qPCR. The results revealed <i>StHsp20</i> and <i>StHsp40</i> exhibited mRNA accumulation patterns that were highly similar in response to heat stress but completely different toward cold stress, which implies that the mechanisms underlying thermal and cold acclimation in dinoflagellates are regulated by different sets of genes. The <i>StHsp20</i> was probably related to the heat tolerance of the species, and <i>StHsp40</i> was closely involved in the adaptation to both higher and lower temperature fluctuations. Furthermore, significantly higher mRNA abundance of <i>StHsp40</i> was detected in newly formed resting cysts, which might be a response to intrinsic stress stemmed from encystment. This finding also implied <i>StHsp40</i> might be engaged in resting cyst formation of <i>S. trochoidea.</i> Our findings enriched the knowledge about possible cross-talk of different Hsp members in dinoflagellates and provided clues to further explore the molecular underpinnings underlying resting cyst production and broad temperature tolerance of this group of HABs contributors.
Project description:In seasonal environments, strong gradients of environmental parameters can shape life cycles of phytoplankton. Depending on the rate of environmental fluctuation, specialist or generalist strategies may be favored, potentially affecting life cycle transitions. The present study examined life cycle transitions of the toxin producing Baltic dinoflagellate Alexandrium ostenfeldii and their regulation by environmental factors (temperature and nutrients). This investigation aimed to determine whether genetic recombination of different strains is required for resting cyst formation and whether newly formed cysts are dormant. Field data (temperature and salinity) and sediment surface samples were collected from a site with recurrent blooms and germination and encystment experiments were conducted under controlled laboratory conditions. Results indicate a lack of seasonal germination pattern, set by an endogenous rhythm, as commonly found with other dinoflagellates from the Baltic Sea. Germination of quiescent cysts was triggered by temperatures exceeding 10°C and combined nutrient limitation of nitrogen and phosphorus or a drop in temperature from 16 to 10°C triggered encystment most efficiently. Genetic recombination was not mandatory for the formation of resting cysts, but supported higher numbers of resistant cysts and enhanced germination capacity after a resting period. Findings from this study confirm that A. ostenfeldii follows a generalist germination and cyst formation strategy, driven by strong seasonality, which may support its persistence and possibly expansion in marginal environments in the future, if higher temperatures facilitate a longer growth season.
Project description:The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) regulates plant development and is crucial for abiotic stress response. In this study, cold storage contributes to reducing endogenous ABA content, resulting in dormancy breaking of Gladiolus. The ABA inhibitor fluridone also promotes germination, suggesting that ABA is an important hormone that regulates corm dormancy. Here, we report the identification and functional characterization of the Gladiolus ABI5 homolog (GhABI5), which is a basic leucine zipper motif transcriptional factor (TF). GhABI5 is expressed in dormant vegetative organs (corm, cormel, and stolon) as well as in reproductive organs (stamen), and it is up-regulated by ABA or drought. Complementation analysis reveals that GhABI5 rescues the ABA insensitivity of abi5-3 during seed germination and induces the expression of downstream ABA response genes in Arabidopsis thaliana (EM1, EM6, and RD29B). Down-regulation of GhABI5 in dormant cormels via virus induced gene silence promotes sprouting and reduces the expression of downstream genes (GhLEA and GhRD29B). The results of this study reveal that GhABI5 regulates bud dormancy (vegetative organ) in Gladiolus in addition to its well-studied function in Arabidopsis seeds (reproductive organ).
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate the expression of target genes in diverse cellular processes and play important roles in different physiological processes. However, little is known about the microRNAome (miRNAome) during encystment of ciliated protozoa. In the current study, we first investigated the differentially expressed miRNAs and relative signaling pathways participating in the transformation of vegetative cells into dormant cysts of Pseudourostyla cristata (P. cristata). A total of 1608 known miRNAs were found in the two libraries. There were 165 miRNAs with 1217 target miRNAs. The total number of differential miRNAs screened between vegetative cells and dormant cysts databases were 449 with p < 0.05 and |log2 fold changes| > 1. Among them, the upregulated and downregulated miRNAs were 243 and 206, respectively. Furthermore, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis revealed that some of the differentially expressed miRNAs were mainly associated with oxidative phosphorylation, two-component system, and biosynthesis of amino acids. Combining with our bioinformatics analyzes, some differentially expressed miRNAs including miR-143, miR-23b-3p, miR-28, and miR-744-5p participates in the encystment of P. cristata. Based on these findings, we propose a hypothetical signaling network of miRNAs regulating or promoting P. cristata encystment. This study shed new lights on the regulatory mechanisms of miRNAs in encystment of ciliated protozoa.
Project description:Dinoflagellates are haploid eukaryotic microalgae in which rapid proliferation causes dense blooms, with harmful health and economic effects to humans. The proliferation mode is mainly asexual, as the sexual cycle is believed to be rare and restricted to stressful environmental conditions. However, sexuality is key to explaining the recurrence of many dinoflagellate blooms because in many species the fate of the planktonic zygotes (planozygotes) is the formation of resistant cysts in the seabed (encystment). Nevertheless, recent research has shown that individually isolated planozygotes in the lab can enter other routes besides encystment, a behavior of which the relevance has not been explored at the population level. In this study, using imaging flow cytometry, cell sorting, and Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH), we followed DNA content and nuclear changes in a population of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum that was induced to encystment. Our results first show that planozygotes behave like a population with an "encystment-independent" division cycle, which is light-controlled and follows the same Light:Dark (L:D) pattern as the cycle governing the haploid mitosis. Resting cyst formation was the fate of just a small fraction of the planozygotes formed and was restricted to a period of strongly limited nutrient conditions. The diploid-haploid turnover between L:D cycles was consistent with two-step meiosis. However, the diel and morphological division pattern of the planozygote division also suggests mitosis, which would imply that this species is not haplontic, as previously considered, but biphasic, because individuals could undergo mitotic divisions in both the sexual (diploid) and the asexual (haploid) phases. We also report incomplete genome duplication processes. Our work calls for a reconsideration of the dogma of rare sex in dinoflagellates.
Project description:Seeds respond to environmental signals, tuning their dormancy cycles to the seasons and thereby determining the optimum time for plant establishment. The molecular regulation of dormancy cycling is unknown, but an extensive range of mechanisms have been identified in laboratory experiments. Using a targeted investigation of gene expression over the dormancy cycle of Arabidopsis seeds in the field, we investigated how these mechanisms are seasonally coordinated. Depth of dormancy and gene expression patterns were correlated with seasonal changes in soil temperature. The results were consistent with abscisic acid (ABA) signaling linked to deep dormancy in winter being repressed in spring concurrent with enhanced DELLA repression of germination as depth of dormancy decreased. Dormancy increased during winter as soil temperature declined and expression of ABA synthesis (NCED6) and gibberellic acid (GA) catabolism (GA2ox2) genes increased. This was linked to an increase in endogenous ABA that plateaus, but dormancy and DOG1 and MFT expression continued to increase. The expression of SNF1-related protein kinases, SnrK 2.1 and 2.4, also increased consistent with enhanced ABA signaling and sensitivity being modulated by seasonal soil temperature. Dormancy then declined in spring and summer. Endogenous ABA decreased along with positive ABA signaling as expression of ABI2, ABI4, and ABA catabolism (CYP707A2) and GA synthesis (GA3ox1) genes increased. However, during the low-dormancy phase in the summer, expression of transcripts for the germination repressors RGA and RGL2 increased. Unlike deep winter dormancy, this represson can be removed on exposure to light, enabling the completion of germination at the correct time of year.