Multiple ice-binding proteins of probable prokaryotic origin in an Antarctic lake alga, <i>Chlamydomonas</i> sp. ICE-MDV (Chlorophyceae)

TitleMultiple ice-binding proteins of probable prokaryotic origin in an Antarctic lake alga, Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-MDV (Chlorophyceae)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsRaymond, JA, Morgan-Kiss, RM
Secondary AuthorsValentin, K
JournalJournal of Phycology
Start Page848
Date Published08/2017

Ice‐associated algae produce ice‐binding proteins (IBPs) to prevent freezing damage. The IBPs of the three chlorophytes that have been examined so far share little similarity across species, making it likely that they were acquired by horizontal gene transfer (HGT). To clarify the importance and source of IBPs in chlorophytes, we sequenced the IBP genes of another Antarctic chlorophyte, Chlamydomonas sp. ICE‐MDV (Chlamy‐ICE). Genomic DNA and total RNA were sequenced and screened for known ice‐associated genes. Chlamy‐ICE has as many as 50 IBP isoforms, indicating that they have an important role in survival. The IBPs are of the DUF3494 type and have similar exon structures. The DUF3494 sequences are much more closely related to prokaryotic sequences than they are to sequences in other chlorophytes, and the chlorophyte IBP and ribosomal 18S phylogenies are dissimilar. The multiple IBP isoforms found in Chlamy‐ICE and other algae may allow the algae to adapt to a greater variety of ice conditions than prokaryotes, which typically have a single IBP gene. The predicted structure of the DUF3494 domain has an ice‐binding face with an orderly array of hydrophilic side chains. The results indicate that Chlamy‐ICE acquired its IBP genes by HGT in a single event. The acquisitions of IBP genes by this and other species of Antarctic algae by HGT appear to be key evolutionary events that allowed algae to extend their ranges into polar environments.

Short TitleJ. Phycol.