Diurnal transcript profiling of the diatom Seminavis robusta reveals adaptations to a benthic lifestyle

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung


  • Gust Bilcke - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Cristina Maria Osuna-Cruz - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Marta Santana Silva - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Nicole Poulsen - , Professur für Biomimetische Materialien (Autor:in)
  • Sofie D'hondt - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Petra Bulankova - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Wim Vyverman - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Lieven De Veylder - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Klaas Vandepoele - , Ghent University (Autor:in)


Coastal regions contribute an estimated 20% of annual gross primary production in the oceans, despite occupying only 0.03% of their surface area. Diatoms frequently dominate coastal sediments, where they experience large variations in light regime resulting from the interplay of diurnal and tidal cycles. Here, we report on an extensive diurnal transcript profiling experiment of the motile benthic diatom Seminavis robusta. Nearly 90% (23 328) of expressed protein-coding genes and 66.9% (1124) of expressed long intergenic non-coding RNAs showed significant expression oscillations and are predominantly phasing at night with a periodicity of 24 h. Phylostratigraphic analysis found that rhythmic genes are enriched in highly conserved genes, while diatom-specific genes are predominantly associated with midnight expression. Integration of genetic and physiological cell cycle markers with silica depletion data revealed potential new silica cell wall-associated gene families specific to diatoms. Additionally, we observed 1752 genes with a remarkable semidiurnal (12-h) periodicity, while the expansion of putative circadian transcription factors may reflect adaptations to cope with highly unpredictable external conditions. Taken together, our results provide new insights into the adaptations of diatoms to the benthic environment and serve as a valuable resource for the study of diurnal regulation in photosynthetic eukaryotes.


Seiten (von - bis)315-336
FachzeitschriftThe plant journal
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Juli 2021

Externe IDs

Scopus 85105919589
ORCID /0000-0002-4533-8860/work/142241019



  • benthic, cell wall, circadian clock, diatoms, diurnal rhythms, phylostratigraphy, transcriptomics, GENE-EXPRESSION, CELL-CYCLE, SEXUAL REPRODUCTION, CIRCADIAN-RHYTHMS, DIVISION, RNA, MIGRATION, MICROPHYTOBENTHOS, PREDICTION, MICROALGAE