enlarged-cell-size mutant ECS of N.oceanica



enlarged-cell-size mutant ECS of N.oceanica


Nannochloropsis oceanica (N. oceanica IMET1)






The cell cycle is the fundamental cellular process of eukaryotes. Although cell-cycle-related genes have been identified in microalgae, their cell cycle progression differs from species to species. Cell enlargement in microalgae is an essential biological trait. At the same time, there are various causes of cell enlargement, such as environmental factors, especially gene mutations. In this study, we first determined the phenotypic and biochemical characteristics of a previously obtained enlarged-cell-size mutant of Nannochloropsis oceanica, which was designated ECS. Whole-genome sequencing analysis of the insertion sites of ECS indicated that the insertion fragment is integrated inside the 5′-UTR of U/P-type cyclin CYCU;1 and significantly decreases the gene expression of this cyclin. In addition, the transcriptome showed that CYCU;1 is a highly expressed cyclin. Furthermore, cell cycle analysis and RT-qPCR of cell-cycle-related genes showed that ECS maintains a high proportion of 4C cells and a low proportion of 1C cells, and the expression level of CYCU;1 in wild-type (WT) cells is significantly increased at the end of the light phase and the beginning of the dark phase. This means that CYCU;1 is involved in cell division in the dark phase. Our results explain the reason for the larger ECS size. Mutation of CYCU;1 leads to the failure of ECS to fully complete cell division in the dark phase, resulting in an enlargement of the cell size and a decrease in cell density, which is helpful to understand the function of CYCU;1 in the Nannochloropsis cell cycle.