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Metabolic Analysis of Adaptation to Short-Term Changes in Culture Conditions of the Marine Diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana

Authors
Journal
PLoS ONE
1932-6203
Publisher
Public Library of Science
Publication Date
Volume
8
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067340
Keywords
  • Research Article
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

This report describes the metabolic and lipidomic profiling of 97 low-molecular weight compounds from the primary metabolism and 124 lipid compounds of the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana. The metabolic profiles were created for diatoms perturbed for 24 hours with four different treatments: (I) removal of nitrogen, (II) lower iron concentration, (III) addition of sea salt, (IV) addition of carbonate to their growth media. Our results show that as early as 24 hours after nitrogen depletion significant qualitative and quantitative change in lipid composition as well as in the primary metabolism of Thalassiosira pseudonana occurs. So we can observe the accumulation of several storage lipids, namely triacylglycerides, and TCA cycle intermediates, of which citric acid increases more than 10-fold. These changes are positively correlated with expression of TCA enzymes genes. Next to the TCA cycle intermediates and storage lipid changes, we have observed decrease in N-containing lipids and primary metabolites such as amino acids. As a measure of counteracting nitrogen starvation, we have observed elevated expression levels of nitrogen uptake and amino acid biosynthetic genes. This indicates that diatoms can fast and efficiently adapt to changing environment by altering the metabolic fluxes and metabolite abundances. Especially, the accumulation of proline and the decrease of dimethylsulfoniopropionate suggest that the proline is the main osmoprotectant for the diatom in nitrogen rich conditions.

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