1. Genomics and Evolutionary Biology
  2. Plant Biology
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The genome and phenome of the green alga Chloroidium sp. UTEX 3007 reveal adaptive traits for desert acclimatization

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Cite as: eLife 2017;6:e25783 doi: 10.7554/eLife.25783

Abstract

To investigate the phenomic and genomic traits that allow green algae to survive in deserts, we characterized a ubiquitous species, Chloroidium sp. UTEX 3007, which we isolated from multiple locations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Metabolomic analyses of Chloroidium sp. UTEX 3007 indicated that the alga accumulates a broad range of carbon sources, including several desiccation tolerance-promoting sugars and unusually large stores of palmitate. Growth assays revealed capacities to grow in salinities from zero to 60 g/L and to grow heterotrophically on >40 distinct carbon sources. Assembly and annotation of genomic reads yielded a 52.5 Mbp genome with 8153 functionally annotated genes. Comparison with other sequenced green algae revealed unique protein families involved in osmotic stress tolerance and saccharide metabolism that support phenomic studies. Our results reveal the robust and flexible biology utilized by a green alga to successfully inhabit a desert coastline.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. David R Nelson

    1. Laboratory of Algal, Systems, and Synthetic Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    For correspondence
    1. drn2@nyu.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon 0000-0001-8868-5734
  2. Basel Khraiwesh

    1. Laboratory of Algal, Systems, and Synthetic Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Weiqi Fu

    1. Laboratory of Algal, Systems, and Synthetic Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon 0000-0002-7368-383X
  4. Saleh Alseekh

    1. Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon 0000-0003-2067-5235
  5. Ashish Kumar Jaiswal

    1. Laboratory of Algal, Systems, and Synthetic Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon 0000-0002-6193-1824
  6. Amphun Chaiboonchoe

    1. Laboratory of Algal, Systems, and Synthetic Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon 0000-0002-0009-0806
  7. Khaled M Hazzouri

    1. Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Matthew J O'Connor

    1. Core Technology Platform, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Glenn L Butterfoss

    1. Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  10. Nizar Drou

    1. Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  11. Jillian D Rowe

    1. Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  12. Jamil Harb

    1. Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon 0000-0001-6334-3746
  13. Alisdair R Fernie

    1. Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  14. Kristin C Gunsalus

    1. Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  15. Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani

    1. Laboratory of Algal, Systems, and Synthetic Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    For correspondence
    1. ksa3@nyu.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon 0000-0002-6521-5243

Funding

NYUAD Institute (Grant (G1205-1205i -1205h -1205e))

  • Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani

NYUAD Faculty Research Funds

  • Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Joerg Bohlmann, Reviewing Editor, University of British Columbia, Canada

Publication history

  1. Received: February 5, 2017
  2. Accepted: June 15, 2017
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: June 17, 2017 (version 1)

Copyright

© 2017, Nelson et al

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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