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 study was carried out in the framework of an ISblue Postdoc and in collaboration with Ifremer and more particularly within the DYNECO unit (DYNamiques des Écosystèmes CÔtiers) in Brest.
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”.