Transcriptome sequencing of a toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia mikimotoi subjected to stress from solar ultraviolet radiation.


Department of Marine Biotechnology, School of Laboratory Medicine and Life Science, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035 China. Electronic address: [Email]


Solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a stress factor in aquatic environments and may act directly or indirectly on orgnisms in the upper layers of the water column. However, UVR effects are usually species-specific and difficult to extrapolate. Here we use the HAB-forming, toxic dinoflagellate Karenia mikimotoi (which was found to be relatively resistant in previous studies) to investigate its transcriptional responses to a one-week UVR exposure. For this, batch cultures of K. mikimotoi were grown with and without UVR, and their transcriptomes (generated via RNAseq technology) were compared. RNA-seq generated 45.31 million reads, which were further assembled to 202600 unigenes (>300bp). Among these, ca. 61% were annotated with NCBI, NR, GO, KOG, PFAM, Swiss-Prot, and KEGG database. Transcriptomic analysis revealed 722 differentially expressed unigenes (DEGs, defined as being within a |log2 fold change| ≥ 2 and padj < 0.05) responding to solar UVR, which were only 0.36% of all unigenes. 716 unigenes were down-regulated, and only 6 unigenes were up-regulated in the UVR compared to non-UVR treatment. KEGG pathway further analysis revealed DEGs were involved in the different pathway; genes involved in the ribosome, endocytosis and steroid biosynthesis pathways were highly down-regulated, but this was not the case for those involved in the energy metabolisms (including photosynthesis, oxidative phosphorylation) which may contribute to the sustainable growth observed in UVR treatment. The up-regulated expression of both zinc-finger proteins (ZFPs) and ribosomal protein L11 (RPL11) may be one of the acclimated mechanisms against UVR. In addition, this work identified down-regulated genes involved in fatty acid degradation and the hydrophobic branched chain amino acids (e.g., Valine, leucine, and isoleucine), which act as structural components of cell membranes modulating lipid homeostasis or turnover. In conclusion, the present study suggests that the toxic dinoflagellate K. mikimotoi has limited transcriptomic regulation but confirms that it appears as a tolerant species in response to solar UVR. These findings expand current knowledge of gene expression in HAB-forming species in response to natural environment factors such as solar radiation.


Harmful algal bloom (HAB),Karenia mikimotoi,RNA-seq,Solar ultraviolet radiation,Toxic dinoflagellates,Transcriptome,

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