Pelagic diatoms communicate through synchronized beacon natural fluorescence signaling

Type Article
Date 2021-12
Language English
Author(s) Font-Muñoz Joan S.ORCID1, 2, Sourisseau MarcORCID1, Cohen-Sánchez AmandaORCID3, Tuval Idan3, 4, Basterretxea GotzonORCID3
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, French Institute for Sea Research, DYNECO PELAGOS, 29280 Plouzané, France.
2 : Université de Brest-UBO/CNRS/IFREMER/IRD, 29238 Brest, France.
3 : Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies, IMEDEA (UIB-CSIC), Miquel Marques 21, 07190 Esporles, Balearic Islands, Spain.
4 : Department of Physics, University of the Balearic Islands, Ctra. Valldemossa Km. 7.5, 07122 Palma, Balearic Islands, Spain.
Source Science Advances (2375-2548) (American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)), 2021-12 , Vol. 7 , N. 51 , P. eabj5230 (9p.)
DOI 10.1126/sciadv.abj5230
WOS© Times Cited 1

Communication between conspecific individuals is an essential part of life both in terrestrial and marine realms. Until recently, social behavior in marine phytoplankton was assumed to rely mainly on the secretion of a variety of infochemicals that allowed population-scale collective responses. Here, we demonstrate that pelagic diatoms also use Sun-stimulated fluorescence signals for synchronizing their behavior. These unicellular microorganisms, playing a key biogeochemical role in the ocean, use photoreceptor proteins and red–far-red fluorescent radiation to communicate. A characteristic beaconing signal is generated by rhythmic organelle displacement within the cell cytoplasm, triggering coordinated population behavior. These light-based communication networks could critically determine major facets of diatom ecology and fitness and regulate the dynamics of larger-scale ocean processes.

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