The genome and phenome of the green alga Chloroidium sp. UTEX 3007 reveal adaptive traits for desert acclimatization

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.

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Author details

  1. David R Nelson

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

    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

    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 "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-7368-383X
  4. Saleh Alseekh

    Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-2067-5235
  5. Ashish Kumar Jaiswal

    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 "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-6193-1824
  6. Amphun Chaiboonchoe

    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 "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-0009-0806
  7. Khaled M Hazzouri

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-6334-3746
  13. Alisdair R Fernie

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

    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

    Laboratory of Algal, Systems, and Synthetic Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    For correspondence
    ksa3@nyu.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 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, University of British Columbia, Canada

Version history

  1. Received: February 5, 2017
  2. Accepted: June 15, 2017
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: June 17, 2017 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: July 13, 2017 (version 2)
  5. Version of Record updated: August 8, 2017 (version 3)

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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  1. David R Nelson
  2. Basel Khraiwesh
  3. Weiqi Fu
  4. Saleh Alseekh
  5. Ashish Kumar Jaiswal
  6. Amphun Chaiboonchoe
  7. Khaled M Hazzouri
  8. Matthew J O'Connor
  9. Glenn L Butterfoss
  10. Nizar Drou
  11. Jillian D Rowe
  12. Jamil Harb
  13. Alisdair R Fernie
  14. Kristin C Gunsalus
  15. Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani
(2017)
The genome and phenome of the green alga Chloroidium sp. UTEX 3007 reveal adaptive traits for desert acclimatization
eLife 6:e25783.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.25783

Share this article

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.25783

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