System responses to equal doses of photosynthetically usable radiation of blue, green, and red light in the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPLoS ONE 2014, 9(12) 10.1371/journal.pone.0114211
Due to the selective attenuation of solar light and the absorption properties of seawater and seawater constituents, free-floating photosynthetic organisms have to cope with rapid and unpredictable changes in both intensity and spectral quality. We have studied the transcriptional, metabolic and photo-physiological responses to light of different spectral quality in the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum through time-series studies of cultures exposed to equal doses of photosynthetically usable radiation of blue, green and red light. The experiments showed that short-term differences in gene expression and profiles are mainly light quality-dependent. Transcription of photosynthesis-associated nuclear genes was activated mainly through a light quality-independent mechanism likely to rely on chloroplast-to-nucleus signaling. In contrast, genes encoding proteins important for photoprotection and PSII repair were highly dependent on a blue light receptor-mediated signal. Changes in energy transfer efficiency by light-harvesting pigments were spectrally dependent; furthermore, a declining trend in photosynthetic efficiency was observed in red light. The combined results suggest that diatoms possess a light quality-dependent ability to activate photoprotection and efficient repair of photodamaged PSII. In spite of approximately equal numbers of PSII-absorbed quanta in blue, green and red light, the spectral quality of light is important for diatom responses to ambient light conditions.