Mating type specific transcriptomic response to sex inducing pheromone in the pennate diatom Seminavis robusta

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung


  • Gust Bilcke - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Koen Van den Berge - , University of California at Berkeley (Autor:in)
  • Sam De Decker - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Eli Bonneure - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Nicole Poulsen - , Center for Molecular Bioengineering (B CUBE) (Autor:in)
  • Petra Bulankova - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Cristina Maria Osuna-Cruz - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Jack Dickenson - , University of Southampton (Autor:in)
  • Koen Sabbe - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Georg Pohnert - , Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena (Autor:in)
  • Klaas Vandepoele - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Sven Mangelinckx - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Lieven Clement - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Lieven De Veylder - , Ghent University (Autor:in)
  • Wim Vyverman - , Ghent University (Autor:in)


Sexual reproduction is a fundamental phase in the life cycle of most diatoms. Despite its role as a source of genetic variation, it is rarely reported in natural circumstances and its molecular foundations remain largely unknown. Here, we integrate independent transcriptomic datasets to prioritize genes responding to sex inducing pheromones (SIPs) in the pennate diatom Seminavis robusta. We observe marked gene expression changes associated with SIP treatment in both mating types, including an inhibition of S phase progression, chloroplast division, mitosis, and cell wall formation. Meanwhile, meiotic genes are upregulated in response to SIP, including a sexually induced diatom specific cyclin. Our data further suggest an important role for reactive oxygen species, energy metabolism, and cGMP signaling during the early stages of sexual reproduction. In addition, we identify several genes with a mating type specific response to SIP, and link their expression pattern with physiological specialization, such as the production of the attraction pheromone diproline in mating type − (MT−) and mate-searching behavior in mating type + (MT+). Combined, our results provide a model for early sexual reproduction in pennate diatoms and significantly expand the suite of target genes to detect sexual reproduction events in natural diatom populations.


Seiten (von - bis)562-576
FachzeitschriftISME Journal
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Feb. 2021

Externe IDs

Scopus 85092135447
ORCID /0000-0002-4533-8860/work/142241025