Transcriptome response of high- and low-light-adapted Prochlorococcus strains to changing iron availability
Author(s)Thompson, Anne W.; Huang, Katherine H.; Saito, Mak A.; Chisholm, Sallie (Penny)
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Prochlorococcus contributes significantly to ocean primary productivity. The link between primary productivity and iron in specific ocean regions is well established and iron-limitation of Prochlorococcus cell division rates in these regions has been demonstrated. However, the extent of ecotypic variation in iron metabolism among Prochlorococcus and the molecular basis for differences is not understood. Here, we examine the growth and transcriptional response of Prochlorococcus strains, MED4 and MIT9313, to changing iron concentrations. During steady-state, MIT9313 sustains growth at an order-of-magnitude lower iron concentration than MED4. To explore this difference, we measured the whole-genome transcriptional response of each strain to abrupt iron starvation and rescue. Only four of the 1159 orthologs of MED4 and MIT9313 were differentially-expressed in response to iron in both strains. However, in each strain, the expression of over a hundred additional genes changed, many of which are in labile genomic regions, suggesting a role for lateral gene transfer in establishing diversity of iron metabolism among Prochlorococcus. Furthermore, we found that MED4 lacks three genes near the iron-deficiency induced gene (idiA) that are present and induced by iron stress in MIT9313. These genes are interesting targets for studying the adaptation of natural Prochlorococcus assemblages to local iron conditions as they show more diversity than other genomic regions in environmental metagenomic databases.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biology; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Nature Publishing Group
Thompson, Anne W et al. “Transcriptome Response of High- and Low-light-adapted Prochlorococcus Strains to Changing Iron Availability.” ISME Journal (2011), 1-15.
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