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Circadian Rhythms in Dinoflagellates: What Is the Purpose of Synthesis and Destruction of Proteins?

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Author(s): J. Woodland Hastings

Journal: Microorganisms
ISSN 2076-2607

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 26;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: dinoflagellates | bioluminescence | circadian rhythms

ABSTRACT
There is a prominent circadian rhythm of bioluminescence in many species of light-emitting dinoflagellates. In Lingulodinium polyedrum a daily synthesis and destruction of proteins is used to regulate activity. Experiments indicate that the amino acids from the degradation are conserved and incorporated into the resynthesized protein in the subsequent cycle. A different species, Pyrocystis lunula, also exhibits a rhythm of bioluminescence, but the luciferase is not destroyed and resynthesized each cycle. This paper posits that synthesis and destruction constitutes a cellular mechanism to conserve nitrogen in an environment where the resource is limiting.

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