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Planta. 2013 Apr;237(4):1123-33. doi: 10.1007/s00425-012-1831-7. Epub 2013 Jan 1.

Comparison of transcriptome under red and blue light culture of Saccharina japonica (Phaeophyceae).

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  • 1Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Qingdao, 266071, China.


Saccharina japonica is one of the most important economic seaweeds. Several aspects such as photosynthesis in Saccharina lives are affected by blue light, the predominant light spectrum in the habitat. In this study, transcriptome profiling of S. japonica by next generation sequencing technology generated 55,102 qualified transcripts and 40.5 % transcripts were assigned to functional annotation. Expression of a large proportion of genes has been previously reported to be regulated by blue light, taking dark as control. However, by comparison among white, blue and red light, the significantly differentially expressed gene tags (DEGs) accounted for only 6.75 % of the identified sequences. It indicated that light-regulated gene expression in kelps is not a specific blue-light response. Unexpectedly, red light had more extensive effects on the transcriptomic activity than blue light did, since the most (68.4 %) DEGs were red light-regulated and only 17.5 % were specifically regulated by blue light. Some of the DEGs with the highest mRNA levels under blue light are not blue light-upregulated but red light-downregulated. The extensive regulation on gene expression under red light together with the abundant presence of phytochrome-like protein gene tags in S. japonica indicated their significant roles in the lives of brown algae. By highlighting the photosynthetic metabolism, blue light is more efficient than red light in triggering the pigment biosynthesis, light reaction and carbon fixation, revealing a molecular basis for rapid growth of kelps, since most of the time blue light is predominant in their habitat.

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