Morphological bases of phytoplankton energy management and physiological responses unveiled by 3D subcellular imaging
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Eukaryotic phytoplankton have a small global biomass but play major roles in primary production and climate. Despite improved understanding of phytoplankton diversity and evolution, we largely ignore the cellular bases of their environmental plasticity. By comparative 3D morphometric analysis across seven distant phytoplankton taxa, we observe constant volume occupancy by the main organelles and preserved volumetric ratios between plastids and mitochondria. We hypothesise that phytoplankton subcellular topology is modulated by energy-management constraints. Consistent with this, shifting the diatom Phaeodactylum from low to high light enhances photosynthesis and respiration, increases cell-volume occupancy by mitochondria and the plastid CO2-fixing pyrenoid, and boosts plastid-mitochondria contacts. Changes in organelle architectures and interactions also accompany Nannochloropsis acclimation to different trophic lifestyles, along with respiratory and photosynthetic responses. By revealing evolutionarily-conserved topologies of energy-managing organelles, and their role in phytoplankton acclimation, this work deciphers phytoplankton responses at subcellular scales. Show more
Journal / seriesNature Communications
Pages / Article No.
PublisherNature Publishing Group
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