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Toxins 2017, 9(7), 213; doi:10.3390/toxins9070213

Whole Transcriptomic Analysis Provides Insights into Molecular Mechanisms for Toxin Biosynthesis in a Toxic Dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella (ACHK-T)

State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science/College of the Environment and Ecology, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
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Academic Editor: Luis M. Botana
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 30 June 2017 / Accepted: 1 July 2017 / Published: 5 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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Abstract

Paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), a group of neurotoxic alkaloids, are the most potent biotoxins for aquatic ecosystems and human health. Marine dinoflagellates and freshwater cyanobacteria are two producers of PSTs. The biosynthesis mechanism of PSTs has been well elucidated in cyanobacteria; however, it remains ambiguous in dinoflagellates. Here, we compared the transcriptome profiles of a toxin-producing dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella (ACHK-T) at different toxin biosynthesis stages within the cell cycle using RNA-seq. The intracellular toxin content increased gradually in the middle G1 phase and rapidly in the late G1 phase, and then remained relatively stable in other phases. Samples from four toxin biosynthesis stages were selected for sequencing, and finally yielded 110,370 unigenes, of which 66,141 were successfully annotated in the known databases. An analysis of differentially expressed genes revealed that 2866 genes altered significantly and 297 were co-expressed throughout the four stages. These genes participated mainly in protein metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, and the oxidation-reduction process. A total of 138 homologues of toxin genes were identified, but they altered insignificantly among different stages, indicating that toxin biosynthesis might be regulated translationally or post-translationally. Our results will serve as an important transcriptomic resource to characterize key molecular processes underlying dinoflagellate toxin biosynthesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: dinoflagellate; Alexandrium catenella; paralytic shellfish toxins; toxin biosynthesis; cell cycle; RNA-seq dinoflagellate; Alexandrium catenella; paralytic shellfish toxins; toxin biosynthesis; cell cycle; RNA-seq
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Zhang, Y.; Zhang, S.-F.; Lin, L.; Wang, D.-Z. Whole Transcriptomic Analysis Provides Insights into Molecular Mechanisms for Toxin Biosynthesis in a Toxic Dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella (ACHK-T). Toxins 2017, 9, 213.

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