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Early stage adaptation of a mesophilic green alga to Antarctica: systematic increases in abundance of enzymes and LEA proteins.

07:00 EST 3rd December 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Early stage adaptation of a mesophilic green alga to Antarctica: systematic increases in abundance of enzymes and LEA proteins."

It is known that adaptive evolution in permanently cold environments drives cold adaptation in enzymes. However, how the relatively high enzyme activities were achieved in cold environments prior to cold adaptation of enzymes is unclear. Here we report that an Antarctic strain of Chlorella vulgaris, called NJ-7, acquired the capability to grow at near 0 °C temperatures and greatly enhanced freezing tolerance after systematic increases in abundance of enzymes/proteins and positive selection of certain genes. Having diverged from the temperate strain UTEX259 of the same species 2.5 (1.1-4.1) to 2.6 (1.0-4.5) million years ago, NJ-7 retained the basic mesophilic characteristics and genome structures. Nitrate reductases in the two strains are highly similar in amino acid sequence and optimal temperature, but the NJ-7 one showed significantly higher abundance and activity. Quantitative proteomic analyses indicated that several cryoprotective proteins (LEA), many enzymes involved in carbon metabolism and a large number of other enzymes/proteins, were more abundant in NJ-7 than in UTEX259. Like nitrate reductase, most of these enzymes were not upregulated in response to cold stress. Thus, compensation of low specific activities by increased enzyme abundance appears to be an important strategy for early stage cold adaptation to Antarctica, but such enzymes are mostly not involved in cold acclimation upon transfer from favorable temperatures to near 0 °C temperatures.

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Name: Molecular biology and evolution
ISSN: 1537-1719
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