The genetic basis of cooperative aggregation in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

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dc.contributor.author Berger, Christopher Michael
dc.date.accessioned 2017-04-21T14:20:40Z
dc.date.available 2017-04-21T14:20:40Z
dc.date.issued 2017-05-01 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/35472
dc.description.abstract Unicellular organisms alter their behavior and morphology in response to environmental stresses, particularly in response to immediate threats to their survival. A common tactic of predator avoidance for unicellular green algae is to aggregate to form groups. We have found that the model unicellular green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii forms aggregates in response to the presence of the filter feeding zooplanktonic predator, Daphnia magna. Chalmydomonas is a member of the volvocine algae, a morphologically diverse group of closely related green algae that is often used to study multicellular development. We have characterized aggregation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and found that it is rapid, transient and induced by signals originating from the Daphnia predators. To understand the genetic basis of cooperative aggregation we used an RNA-seq approach. RNA-seq characterized the transcriptomic response by Chlamydomonas during aggregation, and we identified 131 genes are significantly differentially expressed between predated and unpredated cultures of Chlamydomonas. Several candidate genes were characterized based on existing annotations, evolutionary history and expression profile. Evolutionary relationships between candidate aggregation genes in Chlamydomonas and their orthologs in multicellular Volvocales suggest a possible role of aggregation genes in multicellular development. Our results demonstrate that Chlamydomonas dynamically alters its morphology based on its environment and identify several candidate genes for aggregation and multicellular development. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject Chlamydomonas reinhardtii en_US
dc.subject Daphnia en_US
dc.subject Cooperative aggregation en_US
dc.subject Multicellular evolution en_US
dc.subject Volvocales en_US
dc.subject Predation en_US
dc.title The genetic basis of cooperative aggregation in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Master of Science en_US
dc.description.level Masters en_US
dc.description.department Division of Biology en_US
dc.description.advisor Bradley J. Olson en_US
dc.date.published 2017 en_US
dc.date.graduationmonth May en_US


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