Temperature Modulates Sex-Biased Gene Expression in the Gametophytes of the Kelp Saccharina latissima

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Saccharina latissima is an economically and ecologically relevant kelp species in Europe and North America. In kelps, the sexuality is expressed during the haploid life stage and the microscopic gametophytes exhibit significant sexual dimorphism. To understand the sex-dependent impact of temperature on the gametophyte stage, we analyzed for the first time, gene expression profiles of male and female gametophytes at three different temperatures (4, 12, and 20°C) characteristic for the species distribution range by using RNA-sequencing. We identified several differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between sexes; while female biased genes were enriched in general metabolism and energy production, male biased genes function within cell cycle and signaling. In our study, temperature modulated sex-biased gene expression, with only a small percentage of DEGs consistently male (7%) or female-biased (12%) at the three temperatures. Female gametophytes responded stronger to higher temperatures than males, suggesting that males are more heat tolerant. Differences between S. latissima and other brown algal gender-dependent gene expression might mirror the different evolutionary and ecological contexts. Genomic information on kelp gametophyte is still scarce and thus this study adds to our knowledge on sex differences in abiotic stress responses in macroalgae at the transcriptomic level.

Item Type
Publication Status
Published online
Eprint ID
DOI 10.3389/fmars.2019.00769

Cite as
Monteiro, C. , Heinrich, S. , Bartsch, I. , Valentin, K. , Corre, E. , Collén, J. , Harms, L. , Glöckner, G. and Bischof, K. (2019): Temperature Modulates Sex-Biased Gene Expression in the Gametophytes of the Kelp Saccharina latissima , Frontiers in Marine Science, 6 , 769- . doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00769

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