Diatom Genomics - Team Leader: Angela Falciatore
Diatoms are a key phytoplankton group in the contemporary ocean. The recent availability of whole genome sequences from representative species has revealed distinct features in their genomes, and studies of their biology promise to reveal many novel aspects. Major objective of our research is to fully exploit novel genetic tools and genomic information to identify the mechanisms controlling diatom growth and distribution in the marine environment. Ecological questions drive our molecular investigations.
Because light is a key environmental signal for photosynthetic organisms, we are performing a comprehensive characterization of diatom light responses by studying:
- the diatom photoreceptors, their signaling pathways and their function in vivo;
- the diatom response to light stress, dissecting key photoprotection mechanisms;
- the light regulated rhythmic processes and their unknown regulators;
- the genetic regulatory elements driving genome expression and light response regulation, characterizing the diatom small non-coding RNAs and gene silencing pathways through computational and experimental approaches.
The diversity of small non-coding RNAs in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum.
BMC Genomics., in press (2014).
The Cryptochrome/Photolyase Family in aquatic organisms.
Mar Genomics., Apr;14:23-37. doi: 10.1016/j.margen.2014.02.001. Epub 2014 Feb 23. (2014).
Genome engineering empowers the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum for biotechnology.
Nat Commun., May 29;5:3831. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4831. (2014).
Dealing with light: The widespread and multitasking cryptochrome/photolyase family in photosynthetic organisms.
Journal of Plant Physiology., in press (2014).
High light acclimation in the secondary plastids containing diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum is triggered by the redox state of the plastoquinone pool.
Plant Physiology., Feb;161(2):853-65. doi: 10.1104/pp.112.207811. Epub 2012 Dec 3. (2013).
AUREOCHROME1a-Mediated Induction of the Diatom-Specific Cyclin dsCYC2 Controls the Onset of Cell Division in Diatoms (Phaeodactylum tricornutum)
Plant Cell, (2013).
Exploring the molecular basis of responses to light in marine diatoms
J Exp Bot, 63 (2012).
Diatom cell division in an environmental context
Curr Opin Plant Biol, 13 (2010).
Characterization of two members of the cryptochrome/photolyase family from Ostreococcus tauri provides insights into the origin and evolution of cryptochromes
Plant Cell Environ, (2010).
An atypical member of the light-harvesting complex stress-related protein family modulates diatom responses to light
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 107 (2010).
Gene silencing in the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum
Nucleic Acids Res, 37 (2009).
Diatom PtCPF1 is a new cryptochrome/photolyase family member with DNA repair and transcription regulation activity
EMBO Rep, 10 (2009).
The Phaeodactylum genome reveals the evolutionary history of diatom genomes
Nature, 456 (2008).
Evolutionary origins and functions of the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway in marine diatoms
PLoS One, 3 (2008).