Early perturbation in mitochondria redox homeostasis in response to environmental stress predicts cell fate in diatoms

Shiri Graff Van Creveld, Shilo Rosenwasser, Daniella Schatz, Ilan Koren, Assaf Vardi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Diatoms are ubiquitous marine photosynthetic eukaryotes that are responsible for about 20% of global photosynthesis. Nevertheless, little is known about the redox-based mechanisms that mediate diatom sensing and acclimation to environmental stress. Here we used a redox-sensitive green fluorescent protein sensor targeted to various subcellular organelles in the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, to map the spatial and temporal oxidation patterns in response to environmental stresses. Specific organelle oxidation patterns were found in response to various stress conditions such as oxidative stress, nutrient limitation and exposure to diatom-derived infochemicals. We found a strong correlation between the mitochondrial glutathione (GSH) redox potential (E GSH) and subsequent induction of cell death in response to the diatom-derived unsaturated aldehyde 2E,4E/Z-decadienal (DD), and a volatile halocarbon (BrCN) that mediate trophic-level interactions in marine diatoms. Induction of cell death in response to DD was mediated by oxidation of mitochondrial E GSH and was reversible by application of GSH only within a narrow time frame. We found that cell fate can be accurately predicted by a distinct life-death threshold of mitochondrial E GSH (-335 mV). We propose that compartmentalized redox-based signaling can integrate the input of diverse environmental cues and will determine cell fate decisions as part of algal acclimation to stress conditions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)385-395
Number of pages11
JournalISME Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 22 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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© 2015 International Society for Microbial Ecology All rights reserved.


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