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We are always looking for motivated science enthusiasts to work with us. Please contact us at dimitrios.petroutsos@cnrs.fr if you are interested in joining our group or if need support for an application for a fellowship (e.g. EMBO, HFSP, Marie-Curie).

11 April 2023

Photoprotection- and CCM-related genes can be activated in the dark!

Our work on the signalling role of CO2 in Chlamydomonas gene expression regulation is now published in Nature Communications!

 

Abstract

Photosynthetic algae have evolved mechanisms to cope with suboptimal light and CO2 conditions. When light energy exceeds CO2 fixation capacity, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii activates photoprotection, mediated by LHCSR1/3 and PSBS, and the CO2 Concentrating Mechanism (CCM). How light and CO2 signals converge to regulate these processes remains unclear. Here, we show that excess light activates photoprotection- and CCM-related genes by altering intracellular CO2 concentrations and that depletion of CO2 drives these responses, even in total darkness. High CO2 levels, derived from respiration or impaired photosynthetic fixation, repress LHCSR3/CCM genes while stabilizing the LHCSR1 protein. Finally, we show that the CCM regulator CIA5 also regulates photoprotection, controlling LHCSR3 and PSBS transcript accumulation while inhibiting LHCSR1 protein accumulation. This work has allowed us to dissect the effect of CO2 and light on CCM and photoprotection, demonstrating that light often indirectly affects these processes by impacting intracellular CO2 levels.

Nature Communications 14, 1977 (2023)


10 May 2023

System biology approach reveals novel regulators of CCM and photoprotection.

Our work on the application of mathematical modelling to discover novel regulators of CCM and photoprotection is now published in Nature Communications!

Abstract

Availability of light and CO2, substrates of microalgae photosynthesis, is frequently far from optimal. Microalgae activate photoprotection under strong light, to prevent oxidative damage, and the CO2 Concentrating Mechanism (CCM) under low CO2, to raise intracellular CO2 levels. The two processes are interconnected; yet, the underlying transcriptional regulators remain largely unknown. Employing a large transcriptomic data compendium of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii’s responses to different light and carbon supply, we reconstruct a consensus genome-scale gene regulatory network from complementary inference approaches and use it to elucidate transcriptional regulators of photoprotection. We show that the CCM regulator LCR1 also controls photoprotection, and that QER7, a Squamosa Binding Protein, suppresses photoprotection- and CCM-gene expression under the control of the blue light photoreceptor Phototropin. By demonstrating the existence of regulatory hubs that channel light- and CO2-mediated signals into a common response, our study provides an accessible resource to dissect gene expression regulation in this microalga.

Nature Communications 14, 2687 (2023).


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