Ocean warming (OW) and acidification (OA) are recognized as two major climatic conditions influencing phytoplankton growth and nutritional or toxin content. However, there is limited knowledge on the responses of harmful algal bloom species that produce toxins. Here, the study provides quantitative and mechanistic understanding of the acclimation and adaptation responses of the domoic acid (DA) producing diatom Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries to rising temperature and pCO2 using both a one-year in situ bulk culture experiment, and an 800-day laboratory acclimation experiment. Ocean warming showed larger selective effects on growth and DA metabolism than ocean acidification. In a bulk culture experiment, increasing temperature +4 °C above ambient seawater temperature significantly increased DA concentration by up to 11-fold. In laboratory when the long-term warming acclimated samples were assayed under low temperatures, changes in growth rates and DA concentrations indicated that P. multiseries did not adapt to elevated temperature, but could instead rapidly and reversibly acclimate to temperature shifts. However, the warming-acclimated lines showed evidence of adaptation to elevated temperatures in the transcriptome data. Here the core gene expression was not reversed when warming-acclimated lines were moved back to the low temperature environment, which suggested that P. multiseries cells might adapt to rising temperature over longer timescales. The distinct strategies of phenotypic plasticity to rising temperature and pCO2 demonstrate a strong acclimation capacity for this bloom-forming toxic diatom in the future ocean.
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Transcriptome sequencing data are available at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) with the accession number PRJNA686847.
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This work was supported by Marine S&T Fund of Shandong Province for Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao) (No.2021QNLM050103-1), National Natural Science Foundation of China (41976110; 32072329; 32000404); the Young Taishan Scholars Program to DX, Taishan Scholars Funding; Central Public-interest Scientific Institution Basal Research Fund, CAFS (NO. 2020TD27, 20603022021019); Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (ZR2021MD075); Laoshan Laboratory (LSKJ202203204); China Agriculture Research System (CARS-50); U.S. California Urban Ocean Sea Grant and National Science Foundation grants (OCE 1638804, OCE 1538525, OCE 2149837, OCE 2120619).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Xu, D., Zheng, G., Brennan, G. et al. Plastic responses lead to increased neurotoxin production in the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia under ocean warming and acidification. ISME J 17, 525–536 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-023-01370-8