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Open AccessArticle

Intraspecific Diversity in the Cold Stress Response of Transposable Elements in the Diatom Leptocylindrus aporus

1
Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa Comunale, 80121 Napoli, Italy
2
Institut de Biologie de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure (IBENS), CNRS, INSERM, PSL Université Paris, 75005 Paris, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 December 2019 / Accepted: 19 December 2019 / Published: 20 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Phytoplankton)
Transposable elements (TEs), activated as a response to unfavorable conditions, have been proposed to contribute to the generation of genetic and phenotypic diversity in diatoms. Here we explore the transcriptome of three warm water strains of the diatom Leptocylindrus aporus, and the possible involvement of TEs in their response to changing temperature conditions. At low temperature (13 °C) several stress response proteins were overexpressed, confirming low temperature to be unfavorable for L. aporus, while TE-related transcripts of the LTR retrotransposon superfamily were the most enriched transcripts. Their expression levels, as well as most of the stress-related proteins, were found to vary significantly among strains, and even within the same strains analysed at different times. The lack of overexpression after many months of culturing suggests a possible role of physiological plasticity in response to growth under controlled laboratory conditions. While further investigation on the possible central role of TEs in the diatom stress response is warranted, the strain-specific responses and possible role of in-culture evolution draw attention to the interplay between the high intraspecific variability and the physiological plasticity of diatoms, which can both contribute to the adaptation of a species to a wide range of conditions in the marine environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: transposable elements; diatoms; Leptocylindrus aporus; RNA sequencing; gene expression; stress response; temperature; intraspecific diversity; in-culture evolution transposable elements; diatoms; Leptocylindrus aporus; RNA sequencing; gene expression; stress response; temperature; intraspecific diversity; in-culture evolution
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pargana, A.; Musacchia, F.; Sanges, R.; Russo, M.T.; Ferrante, M.I.; Bowler, C.; Zingone, A. Intraspecific Diversity in the Cold Stress Response of Transposable Elements in the Diatom Leptocylindrus aporus. Genes 2020, 11, 9.

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