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Photoresponse in the Heterotrophic Marine Dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina
- HARTZ, AARON J., SHERR, BARRY F., SHERR, EVELYN B.
- The journal of eukaryotic microbiology 2011 v.58 no.2 pp. 171-177
- Dinophyceae, G-protein coupled receptors, blue light, cell membranes, chlorophyll, cyclic AMP, hydroxylamine, phototaxis, proteomics, rhodopsin, signal transduction, wavelengths, white light
- Expressed rhodopsins were detected by proteomic analysis in an investigation of potential signal receptors in the cell membrane of the marine heterotrophic dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina (CCMP604). We inferred these to be sensory rhodopsins, a type of G-protein-coupled receptor trans-membrane signaling molecule. Because phototactic behavior based on sensory rhodopsins has been reported in other protists, we investigated the photosensory response of O. marina. This dinoflagellate exhibited strongest positive phototaxis at low levels (2-3 μE/m²/s) of white light when the cells were previously light adapted and well fed. Positive phototaxis was also found for blue (450 nm), green (525 nm), and red (680 nm) wavelengths. In a further test, O. marina showed significantly greater phototaxis toward concentrated algal food illuminated by blue light to stimulate red chlorophyll-a autofluorescence in the prey, compared with using bleached algae as prey. Concentration of a cytoplasmic downstream messenger molecule, cyclic adenosine monophosphate, a component of the signaling pathway of G-protein-coupled receptor molecules, rapidly increased in O. marina cells after exposure to white light. In addition, treatment with hydroxylamine, a rhodopsin signaling inhibitor, significantly decreased their phototactic response. Our results demonstrate that a heterotrophic marine dinoflagellate can orient to light based on rhodopsins present in the outer cell membrane and may be able to use photosensory response to detect algal prey based on chlorophyll autofluorescence.