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Signalling in the sea - characterising novel ion channels and signalling processes in marine diatoms

Tuesday 28 February 2023, 1.00PM

Speaker(s): Dr Glen Wheeler, Marine Biological Association

Diatoms are unicellular phytoplankton that are responsible for an estimated 20% of global photosynthesis. Diatoms play a central role in marine ecosystems, dominating microbial communities in diverse environments, from estuaries to sea ice, but our knowledge of their cell biology remains limited. Our recent research at the MBA has examined how these abundant silicified algae sense and respond to changes in their environment. We have characterised the signalling pathways that allow diatoms to respond to environmental stimuli, including temperature, salinity, nutrients and light. We have discovered that diatoms possess unique signalling mechanisms, including a novel class of voltage-gated calcium channels. Our studies demonstrate how exploring the signalling networks in diverse organisms can provide a broader insight into the evolution of signalling processes in eukaryotes.

Location: Dianna Bowles Lecture Theatre (B/K018)