Project description:The abundant and widespread coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi plays an important role in mediating CO2 exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere through its impact on marine photosynthesis and calcification. Here, we use long serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) to identify E. huxleyi genes responsive to nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P) starvation. Long SAGE is an elegant approach for examining quantitative and comprehensive gene expression patterns without a priori knowledge of gene sequences via the detection of 21-bp nucleotide sequence tags. E. huxleyi appears to have a robust transcriptional-level response to macronutrient deficiency, with 42 tags uniquely present or up-regulated twofold or greater in the N-starved library and 128 tags uniquely present or up-regulated twofold or greater in the P-starved library. The expression patterns of several tags were validated with reverse transcriptase PCR. Roughly 48% of these differentially expressed tags could be mapped to publicly available genomic or expressed sequence tag (EST) sequence data. For example, in the P-starved library a number of the tags mapped to genes with a role in P scavenging, including a putative phosphate-repressible permease and a putative polyphosphate synthetase. In short, the long SAGE analyses have (i) identified many new differentially regulated gene sequences, (ii) assigned regulation data to EST sequences with no database homology and unknown function, and (iii) highlighted previously uncharacterized aspects of E. huxleyi N and P physiology. To this end, our long SAGE libraries provide a new public resource for gene discovery and transcriptional analysis in this biogeochemically important marine organism. Keywords: Emiliania, gene expression, nutrients, SAGE, phosphate, nitrogen Overall design: Emiliania huxleyi CCMP 1516 was obtained from the Provasoli-Guillard Center for the Culture of Marine Phytoplankton, Bigelow Laboratories. Cultures were grown at 18°C on a 14 h:10 h light:dark cycle (140 µmol quanta m-2 s-1). Nitrogen and phosphate replete (Replete: 35 µM NO3- and 1.5 µM PO43-), low nitrogen (-N: 10 µM NO3-) and low phosphate (-P: 0 µM PO43-) cells were grown in f/50 medium without Si. Locally collected seawater was filtered (pore size, 0.2 µm) and autoclaved. Filter-sterilized inorganic nutrients, trace metals and vitamins (thiamin, biotin and B12) were added after autoclaving. The cells were grown in 8 L batch cultures. The growth of cultures was monitored daily by cell number counted on a hemacytometer, and by relative fluorescence using a Turner Designs AU Fluorometer. Replete cells were harvested in mid-log phase while –N and –P cells were harvested at the onset of stationary phase for SAGE analysis.