BROWN ALGAL MORPHOGENESIS: ATOMIC FORCE MICROSCOPY AS A TOOL TO STUDY THE ROLE OF MECHANICAL FORCES
Tesson B, Charrier B.
Over the last few years, a growing interest has been directed toward the use of macroalgae as a source of energy, food and molecules for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Besides this, macroalgal development remains poorly understood compared to other multicellular organisms. Brown algae (Phaeophyceae) form a monophyletic lineage of usually large multicellular algae which evolved independently from land plants. In their environment, they are subjected to strong mechanical forces (current, waves and tide), in response to which they modify rapidly and reversibly their morphology. Because of their specific cellular features (cell wall composition, cytoskeleton organization), deciphering how they cope with these forces might help discover new control mechanisms of cell wall softening and cellulose synthesis. Despite the current scarcity in knowledge on brown algal cell wall dynamics and protein composition, we will illustrate, in the light of methods adapted to Ectocarpus siliculosus, to what extent atomic force microscopy can contribute to advance this field of investigation.
5:471. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00471