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Highlight | Vegetal physiology
Although essential for microalgal growth, light and CO2 are rarely available at optimal levels. To mitigate the effects of oxidative stress caused by too much light, microalgae activate a photoprotective mechanism that dissipates excess light energy in the form of heat, which is harmless to the algae. To ensure growth at low CO2 concentrations, microalgae activate a mechanism that increases the amount of CO2 available in their chloroplasts. Could there be a link between light and CO2?
Quenching of energy (qE) and CO2 Concentrating Mechanism (CCM) are crucial for the survival of microalgae. Mutants deficient in qE cannot survive exposure to intense light, and mutants deficient in CCM cannot grow photoautotrophically (i.e. using light as an energy source and carbon dioxide as a carbon source) unless they are supplemented with high levels of CO2. While the two processes have traditionally been studied separately, researchers at IRIG have shown that they are largely co-regulated and
share common regulatory elements (Figure).
 Águila Ruiz-Sola M, Flori S, Yuan Y, Villain G, Sanz-Luque E, Redekop P, Tokutsu R, Küken A, Tsichla A, Kepesidis G, Allorent G, Arend M, Iacono F, Finazzi G, Hippler M, Nikoloski Z, Minagawa J, Grossman AR and Petroutsos D.Light-independent regulation of algal photoprotection by CO2 availability.Nature Communications 2023
 Arend M, Yuan Y, Águila Ruiz-Sola M, Omranian N, Nikoloski Z and Petroutsos D.Widening the landscape of transcriptional regulation of green algal photoprotection.Nature Communications 2023.
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