The diatom Stauroneis sp. was previously identified as a promising source of fucoxanthin and omega-3 oils. Methyl jasmonate (MJ) supplementation is known to enhance metabolite yields in this species without impacting on growth or photosynthesis. Therefore, a label-free proteomics approach was undertaken to further evaluate the functional role of MJ on the diatom's physiology. Of the twenty cultivation regimes were screened, Uf/2 medium with green+white LED's induced the greatest metabolic response when exposed to 10 μM MJ treatment. These conditions significantly enhanced the pigment and total cellular lipids contents. The increase in fucoxanthin correlating with a 20% increase in Trolox reducing equivalent in the total antioxidant assay, indicating a non-enzymatic antioxidant role of fucoxanthin to mitigate the detrimental effects of a redox imbalance within chloroplasts. The proteomics identified 197 proteins up-regulated 48 h after MJ exposure including cell signalling cascades, photosynthetic processes, carbohydrate metabolism, lipid biosynthesis and chloroplast biogenesis. MJ strengthened the dark reactions of photosynthesis to support growth and metabolite fluxes. The MJ-induced ER stress protein triggered lipid body production, facilitating metabolite turnover and trafficking between cellular organelles. Plastid terminal oxidase and glutamate 1-semialdehyde 2,1-aminomutase may act as MJ-induced ROS responsive regulatory switch to support chloroplast biosynthesis. Significance statement: Phytohormones represents a promising tool to enhance the high-value metabolite yields in plants and algae, however little is known of the role of methyl jasmonate in diatoms at a molecular level. A shotgun proteomics approach was undertaken to determine the influence of MJ on the diatom's cellular physiology in the marine diatom Stauroneis sp., revealing a signal transduction cascade leading to increased lipid and pigment content and identified promising targets for genetic engineering.
- Methyl jasmonate