Transcriptomic and isotopic data reveal central role of ammonium in facilitating the growth of the mixotrophic dinoflagellate, Dinophysis acuminata
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Transcriptomic and isotopic data reveal central role of ammonium in facilitating the growth of the mixotrophic dinoflagellate, Dinophysis acuminata

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  • Journal Title:
    Harmful Algae
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    Dinophysis spp. are mixotrophs that are dependent on specific prey, but are also potentially reliant on dissolved nutrients. The extent to which Dinophysis relies on exogenous N and the specific biochemical pathways important for supporting its autotrophic and heterotrophic growth are unknown. Here, the nutritional ecology of Dinophysis was explored using two approaches: 1) 15N tracer experiments were conducted to quantify the concentration-dependent uptake rates and associated kinetics of various N compounds (nitrate, ammonium, urea) of Dinophysis cultures and 2) the transcriptomic responses of Dinophysis cultures grown with multiple combinations of prey and nutrients were assessed via dinoflagellate spliced leader-based transcriptome profiling. Of the N compounds examined, ammonium had the highest Vmax and affinity coefficient, and lowest Ks for both pre-starved and pre-fed cultures, collectively demonstrating the preference of Dinophysis for this N source while little-to-no nitrate uptake was observed. During the transcriptome experiments, Dinophysis grown with nitrate and without prey had the largest number of genes with lower transcript abundances, did not increase abundance of transcripts associated with nitrate/nitrite uptake or reduction, and displayed no cellular growth, suggesting D. acuminata is not capable of growing on nitrate. When offered prey, the transcriptomic response of Dinophysis included the production of phagolysosomes, enzymes involved in protein and lipid catabolism, and N acquisition through amino acid degradation pathways. Compared with cultures only offered ammonium or prey, cultures offered both ammonium and prey had the largest number of genes with increased transcript abundances, the highest growth rate, and the unique activation of multiple pathways involved in cellular catabolism, further evidencing the ability of Dinophysis to grow optimally as a mixotroph. Collectively, this study evidences the key role ammonium plays in the mixotrophic growth of Dinophysis and reveals the precise biochemical pathways that facilitate its mixotrophic growth.
  • Source:
    Harmful Algae, 104, 102031
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    CC BY
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