Coral reef-associated Symbiodiniaceae live in tropical and oligotrophic environments and are prone to heat and nutrient stress. How their metabolic pathways respond to pulses of warming and phosphorus (P) depletion is underexplored. Here, we conducted RNA-seq analysis to investigate transcriptomic responses to thermal stress, phosphate deprivation, and organic phosphorus (OP) replacement in Fugacium kawagutii
. Using dual-algorithm (edgeR and NOIseq) to remedy the problem of no replicates, we conservatively found 357 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) under heat stress, potentially regulating cell wall modulation and the transport of iron, oxygen, and major nutrients. About 396 DEGs were detected under P deprivation and 671 under OP utilization, both mostly up-regulated and potentially involved in photosystem and defensome, despite different KEGG pathway enrichments. Additionally, we identified 221 genes that showed relatively stable expression levels across all conditions (likely core genes), mostly catalytic and binding proteins. This study reveals a wide range of, and in many cases previously unrecognized, molecular mechanisms in F. kawagutii
to cope with heat stress and phosphorus-deficiency stress. Their quantitative expression dynamics, however, requires further verification with triplicated experiments, and the data reported here only provide clues for generating testable hypotheses about molecular mechanisms underpinning responses and adaptation in F. kawagutii
to temperature and nutrient stresses.
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