Eukaryotic microalgae are highly suitable biological indicators of environmental changes because they are exposed to extreme seasonal fl uctuations. The biochemical and molecular targets and regulators of key proteins involved in the stress response in microalgae have yet to be elucidated. This study presents morphological and biochemical evidence of programmed cell death (PCD) in a low temperature strain of Chlorella saccharophila induced by exposure to NaCl stress. Morphological characteristics of PCD, including cell shrinkage, detachment of the plasma membrane from the cell wall, nuclear condensation and DNA fragmentation, were observed. Additionally, a signifi cant production of H 2 O 2 and increase in caspase 3-like activity were detected. We demonstrated that singly applied environmental stresses such as warming or salt stress trigger a pathway of PCD. Intriguingly, the prior application of salt stress seems to reduce heat shock-induced cell death signifi cantly, suggesting a combined effect which activates a defense mechanism in algal cells. These results suggest that C. saccharophila can undergo PCD under stress conditions, and that this PCD shares several features with metazoan PCD. Moreover, the simultaneous exposure of this unicellular chlorophyte to different abiotic stresses results in a tolerance mechanism.

Programmed Cell Death And Adaptation: Two Different Types Of Abiotic Stress Response In A Unicellular Chlorophyte

ZUPPINI, ANNA;GEROTTO, CATERINA;BALDAN, BARBARA
2010

Abstract

Eukaryotic microalgae are highly suitable biological indicators of environmental changes because they are exposed to extreme seasonal fl uctuations. The biochemical and molecular targets and regulators of key proteins involved in the stress response in microalgae have yet to be elucidated. This study presents morphological and biochemical evidence of programmed cell death (PCD) in a low temperature strain of Chlorella saccharophila induced by exposure to NaCl stress. Morphological characteristics of PCD, including cell shrinkage, detachment of the plasma membrane from the cell wall, nuclear condensation and DNA fragmentation, were observed. Additionally, a signifi cant production of H 2 O 2 and increase in caspase 3-like activity were detected. We demonstrated that singly applied environmental stresses such as warming or salt stress trigger a pathway of PCD. Intriguingly, the prior application of salt stress seems to reduce heat shock-induced cell death signifi cantly, suggesting a combined effect which activates a defense mechanism in algal cells. These results suggest that C. saccharophila can undergo PCD under stress conditions, and that this PCD shares several features with metazoan PCD. Moreover, the simultaneous exposure of this unicellular chlorophyte to different abiotic stresses results in a tolerance mechanism.
2010
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2452476
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