Suppressive subtractive hybridization of and differences in gene expression content of calcifying and noncalcifying cultures of Emiliania huxleyi strain 1516

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005 May;71(5):2564-75. doi: 10.1128/AEM.71.5.2564-2575.2005.


The marine coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi is a cosmopolitan alga intensely studied in relation to global carbon cycling, biogeochemistry, marine ecology, and biomineralization processes. The biomineralization capabilities of coccolithophorids have attracted the attention of scientists interested in exploiting this ability for the development of materials science and biomedical and biotechnological applications. Although it has been well documented that biomineralization in E. huxleyi is promoted by growth under phosphate-limited conditions, the genes and proteins that govern the processes of calcification and coccolithogenesis remain unknown. Suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH) libraries were constructed from cultures grown in phosphate-limited and phosphate-replete media as tester and driver populations for reciprocal SSH procedures. Positive clones from each of the two libraries were randomly selected, and dot blotting was performed for the analysis of expression patterns. A total of 513 clones from the phosphate-replete library and 423 clones from the phosphate-limited library were sequenced, assembled, and compared to sequences in GenBank using BLASTX. Of the 103 differentially expressed gene fragments from the phosphate-replete library, 34% showed significant homology to other known proteins, while only 23% of the 65 differentially expressed gene fragments from the phosphate-limited library showed homology to other proteins. To further assess mRNA expression, real-time RT-PCR analysis was employed and expression profiles were generated over a 14-day time course for three clones from the phosphate-replete library and five clones from the phosphate-limited library. The fragments isolated provide the basis for future cloning of full-length genes and functional analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Calcification, Physiologic
  • Eukaryota / genetics*
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Library
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / methods*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • RNA, Messenger