Searching for a Mate: Pheromone-Directed Movement of the Benthic Diatom Seminavis robusta


Diatoms are species-rich microalgae that often have a unique life cycle with vegetative cell size reduction followed by size restoration through sexual reproduction of two mating types (MT(+) and MT(-)). In the marine benthic diatom Seminavis robusta, mate-finding is mediated by an L-proline-derived diketopiperazine, a pheromone produced by the attracting mating type (MT(-)). Here, we investigate the movement patterns of cells of the opposite mating type (MT(+)) exposed to a pheromone gradient, using video monitoring and statistical modeling. We report that cells of the migrating mating type (MT(+)) respond to pheromone gradients by simultaneous chemotaxis and chemokinesis. Changes in movement behavior enable MT(+) cells to locate the direction of the pheromone source and to maximize their encounter rate towards it.


PubMed ID: 27260155

Projects: C1

Journal: Microb Ecol


Date Published: 5th Jun 2016

Authors: K. G. Bondoc, C. Lembke, W. Vyverman, Georg Pohnert

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Views: 411

Created: 20th Oct 2016 at 13:12

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