Biochemistry, Department of



Istvan Ladunga

Date of this Version



The Plant Cell, Vol. 24: 1860–1875, May 2012; doi: 10.1105/tpc.111.093435


Copyright (c) 2012 American Society of Plant Biologists. Used by permission.


A CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM) is essential for the growth of most eukaryotic algae under ambient (392 ppm) and very low (ppm) CO2 concentrations. In this study, we used replicated deep mRNA sequencing and regulatory network reconstruction to capture a remarkable scope of changes in gene expression that occurs when Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells are shifted from high to very low levels of CO2 (£100 ppm). CCM induction 30 to 180 min post-CO2 deprivation coincides with statistically significant changes in the expression of an astonishing 38% (5884) of the 15,501 nonoverlapping C. reinhardtii genes. Of these genes, 1088 genes were induced and 3828 genes were downregulated by a log2 factor of 2. The latter indicate a global reduction in photosynthesis, protein synthesis, and energy-related biochemical pathways. The magnitude of transcriptional rearrangement and its major patterns are robust as analyzed by three different statistical methods. De novo DNA motif discovery revealed new putative binding sites for Myeloid oncogene family transcription factors potentially involved in activating low CO2–induced genes. The (CA)n repeat (9 ≤ n ≤ 25) is present in 29% of upregulated genes but almost absent from promoters of downregulated genes. These discoveries open many avenues for new research.

Includes supplemental materials.