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Circadian clock-controlled gene expression in co-cultured, mat-forming cyanobacteria
Hörnlein, C.; Confurius-Guns, V.; Grego, M.; Stal, L.J.; Bolhuis, H. (2020). Circadian clock-controlled gene expression in co-cultured, mat-forming cyanobacteria. NPG Scientific Reports 10(1).
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Hörnlein, C., meer
  • Confurius-Guns, V., meer
  • Grego, M., meer

    Natural coastal microbial mat communities are multi-species assemblages that experience fluctuating environmental conditions and are shaped by resource competition as well as by cooperation. Laboratory studies rarely address the natural complexity of microbial communities but are usually limited to homogeneous mono-cultures of key species grown in liquid media. The mat-forming filamentous cyanobacteria Lyngbya aestuarii and Coleofasciculus chthonoplastes were cultured under different conditions to investigate the expression of circadian clock genes and genes that are under their control. The cyanobacteria were grown in liquid medium or on a solid substrate (glass beads) as mono- or as co-cultures under a light–dark regime and subsequently transferred to continuous light. TaqMan-probe based qPCR assays were used to quantify the expression of the circadian clock genes kaiA, kaiB, and kaiC, and of four genes that are under control of the circadian clock: psbA, nifH, ftsZ, and prx. Expression of kaiABC was influenced by co-culturing the cyanobacteria and whether grown in liquid media or on a solid substrate. Free-running (i.e. under continuous light) expression cycle of the circadian clock genes was observed in L. aestuarii but not in C. chthonoplastes. In the former organism, maximum expression of psbA and nifH occurred temporally separated and independent of the light regime, although the peak shifted in time when the culture was transferred to continuous illumination. Although functionally similar, both species of cyanobacteria displayed different 24-h transcriptional patterns in response to the experimental treatments, suggesting that their circadian clocks have adapted to different life strategies adopted by these mat-forming cyanobacteria.

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