Current Genetics

, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 235–244 | Cite as

Differential gene expression in Ulva prolifera under low light and low temperature conditions

  • Youxun Li
  • Xiaowen Zhang
  • Dong Xu
  • Zhimeng Zhuang
  • Naihao YeEmail author
Research Article


The past several years witnessed the increasing global interest in the marine green macroalga Ulva prolifera as it is a key causative species of the massive green tides successively occurring in the Yellow Sea. Accurate localization of the ‘seed’ source is one of the principal scientific concerns to be solved before it is possible to manage these algal blooms. It has been suggested that somatic cells of Ulva prolifera which settled in cold benthic sediments might serve as one of the major propagule banks. To identify the molecular mechanisms underlying this hypothesis, PCR-based suppression subtractive hybridization was employed to analyze the differential gene expression of Ulva prolifera under low light and low temperature conditions (matching the cold benthic sediments conditions, 6 °C, 30 μmol photons m−2 s−1). 137 ESTs representing 88 unigenes (80 singletons and 8 contigs) were detected as being over-expressed, whereas 109 unigenes (96 singletons and 13 contigs) in 130 ESTs were found to be down-regulated in this study. BLASTX analysis revealed that 65 % of the over-expressed and 59 % of the down-regulated genes did not belong to any documented functionally annotated or hypothetical proteins in the public database. However, analysis of the functional defined sequences displayed (1) an obvious sign of senescence, (2) enhancements of the photosynthesis system and the pentose phosphate pathway, (3) slow-down of activities in a wide range of processes including the DNA replication, the transcription, the translation, the glycolysis, the citrate cycle and the pyruvate metabolism in Ulva prolifera cells under low light and low temperature conditions. This work disclosed some basic information of the molecular mechanisms of Ulva prolifera cells under low light and low temperature conditions and provides useful clues for future studies on the “seed” source of the massive green tides.


Differential gene expression Low light and low temperature conditions SSH Ulva prolifera 



This work was supported by the National Special Fund for Transgenic Project (2009ZX08009-019B), the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (2009ZRA02075), the Hi-Tech Research and Development Program (863) of China (2009AA10Z106), and the National Natural Science Foundation (40972162).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Youxun Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaowen Zhang
    • 1
  • Dong Xu
    • 1
  • Zhimeng Zhuang
    • 1
  • Naihao Ye
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Yellow Sea Fisheries Research InstituteChinese Academy of Fishery SciencesQingdaoChina
  2. 2.National Oceanographic CenterQingdaoChina

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