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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Comparative Transcriptomic and Proteomic Analyses Provide New Insights into the Tolerance to Cyclic Dehydration in a Lichen Phycobiont

del Campo, Eva M.; Bullet, Francisco Gasulla; Hell, Aline F.; Gonzalez-Hourcade, Maria; Casano, Leonardo M.


Desiccation tolerance (DT) is relatively frequent in non-vascular plants and green algae. However, it is poorly understood how successive dehydration/rehydration (D/R) cycles shape their transcriptomes and proteomes. Here, we report a comprehensive analysis of adjustments on both transcript and protein profiles in response to successive D/ R cycles in Coccomyxa simplex (Csol), isolated from the lichen Solorina saccata. A total of 1833 transcripts and 2332 proteins were differentially abundant as a consequence of D/R; however, only 315 of these transcripts/proteins showed similar trends. Variations in both transcriptomes and proteomes along D/R cycles together with functional analyses revealed an extensive decrease in transcript and protein levels during dehydration, most of them involved in gene expression, metabolism, substance transport, signalling and folding catalysis, among other cellular functions. At the same time, a series of protective transcripts/proteins, such as those related to antioxidant defence, polyol metabolism and autophagy, was upregulated during dehydration. Overall, our results show a transient decrease in most cellular functions as a result of drying and a gradual reactivation of specific cell processes to accommodate the hydration status along successive D/R cycles. This study provides new insights into key mechanisms involved in the DT of Csol and probably other dehydration-tolerant microalgae. In addition, functionally characterising the high number of genes/proteins of unknown functions found in this study may lead to the discovery of new DT mechanisms.


Dehydration; Rehydration; Microalgae; Coccomyxa simplex; Proteome; Transcriptome

Published in

Microbial Ecology
2023, Volume: 86, number: 3, pages: 1725-1739 Publisher: SPRINGER

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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