Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 3121–3130 | Cite as

Gene expression profile of marine Chlorella strains from different latitudes: stress and recovery under elevated temperatures

  • Bahram Barati
  • Phaik-Eem LimEmail author
  • Sook-Yee Gan
  • Sze-Wan Poong
  • Siew-Moi Phang
8th Asian Pacific Phycological Forum


Global warming, as a consequence of climate change, poses a critical threat to marine life, including algae. Studies on algal response at the molecular level to temperature stress have been significantly improved by advances in omics technologies. Algae are known to employ various strategies in response to heat stress. For example, algae regulate starch synthesis to provide energy for the cell or rebuild the damaged subunits of photosystems to regain photosynthetic activity. The aim of the present study is to examine the expression of selected photosynthesis-related genes of marine Chlorella originating from different latitudes, in response to heat stress and during the recovery period. In this study, marine Chlorella strains from the Antarctic, temperate region, and the tropics were grown at their ambient and stress-inducing temperatures. The maximum quantum efficiency (Fv/Fm) photosynthetic parameter was used to assess their stress levels. When subjected to heat stress, the Fv/Fm began to decline and when it reached ~ 0.2, the cultures were transferred to their respective ambient temperature for recovery. Total RNA was isolated from these cultures at Fv/Fm ~ 0.4, 0.2, and when it regained 0.4 during recovery. The expression of four genes including psbA, psaB, psbC, and rbcL was analyzed using RT-PCR. The housekeeping gene, histone subunit three (H3) was used for data normalization. Studying the genes involved in the adaptation mechanisms would enhance our knowledge on algal adaptation pathways and pave the way for genetic engineers to develop more tolerant strains.


Abiotic stress Photosystem Photosynthesis Stress adaptation 


Funding information

The study was supported by research grants from the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia, HiCOE research grant (IOES-2014H), University of Malaya Postgraduate Research Fund (PG146-2015A), and the following University of Malaya Research Grants (RP002C-13SUS, RU009F-2015).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bahram Barati
    • 1
    • 2
  • Phaik-Eem Lim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sook-Yee Gan
    • 3
  • Sze-Wan Poong
    • 1
  • Siew-Moi Phang
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Ocean and Earth SciencesUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Institute of Graduate StudiesUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.School of PharmacyInternational Medical UniversityKuala LumpurMalaysia
  4. 4.Institute of Biological SciencesUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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