About the Project
Recent analysis has shown that metabolic pathways related to synthesis of the photosynthetic product mannitol were widespread and diverse in marine algae (Tonon et al. 2017, doi.org/10.1111/nph.14358). These include abundantly and globally distributed green picoalgae sharing evolution history with land plant, and bloom-forming and calcifying haptophytes. In this context, this project aim at characterizing microalgal mannitol biosynthetic enzymes, as well as to assess changes in carbohydrates content and in expression of relevant genes under different physiological conditions. Results obtained at different levels of biological organization will be combined to understand the physiological role(s) and environmental factors influencing mannitol metabolism. This will shed light on the physiology of key players in marine ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles. It will also help to understand the carbon cycle in the current context of disturbed global carbon balance due to climate change.
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