Complex Diel Cycles of Gene Expression in Coral-Algal Symbiosis

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Science  14 Jan 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6014, pp. 175
DOI: 10.1126/science.1196419

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Circadian regulation of plant-animal endosymbioses is complicated by a diversity of internal and external cues. Here, we show that stress-related genes in corals are coupled to the circadian clock, anticipating major changes in the intracellular milieu. In this regard, numerous chaperones are “hard-wired” to the clock, effectively preparing the coral for the consequences of oxidative protein damage imposed by symbiont photosynthesis (when O2 > 250% saturation), including synexpression of antioxidant genes being light-gated. Conversely, central metabolism appears to be regulated by the hypoxia-inducible factor system in coral. These results reveal the complexity of endosymbiosis as well as the plasticity regulation downstream of the circadian clock.

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