During his Postdoc at ISblue, Joan S. Font-Muñoz worked on a mechanism of communication between diatoms based on autofluorescent light signaling, which was not known until now.
This discovery is important as diatoms are microalgae that produce a quarter of the oxygen we breathe and play a key role in the functioning of marine ecosystems. They are at the base of the food chain of many species and provide about 40% of the primary production of organic matter. A better understanding of how they communicate contributes to a better understanding of the interactions that take place in the marine environment.
Joan S. Font-Muñoz and the entire research team (Marc Sourisseau, Amanda Cohen-Sánchez, Idan Tuval, Gotzon Basterretxea) also believe that the processes raised by their study could have a strong influence on the fitness of diatoms. Thus, this study could help to provide a better understanding of their resilience in a changing ocean.
To go further on the subject, the full article has been published in the prestigious journal Science Advances : “Pelagic diatoms communicate through synchronized beacon natural fluorescence signaling”.