The Impact of Temperature Stress on DNA and RNA Synthesis in Potentially Toxic Dinoflagellates Prorocentrum minimum
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Biomarkers of temperature stress were studied as major characteristics crucial for the understanding complex processes that underlie the response of marine planktonic microorganisms to environmental factors and their sublethal effects. Using the potentially toxic dinoflagellates Prorocentrum minimum as a model object, the impact of temperature stress on viability, cell cycle, RNA synthesis and DNA replication in these protists was evaluated. It was shown by flow cytometry that stress evoked by a temperature increase from 25°C (control) to 37 or 42°C during 15 to 60 min did not cause any considerable alterations in the cell cycle, while cell death rate increased from ≤ 1% (control) to 2–12% at 37°C and 4–22% at 42°C. Along with a relatively low cell death rate, following a temperature increase to 37 and/or 42°C, P. minimum displayed the ability to boost the synthesis of DNA (1.7–1.9 and 1.2–1.6 times, respectively) and especially RNA (2.5–3.1 and 1.7–2.8 times, respectively) during the first 15–30 min after stress. At certain stages of the life cycle, this effect can be critical for maintaining the viability and normal development of the P. minimum population. The obtained results demonstrate that a significantly elevated synthesis of nucleic acids can serve as an indicator (biomarker) of sublethal environmental stress.
Key wordsdinoflagellates cell cycle temperature stress RNA and DNA synthesis Prorocentrum minimum
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