top of page
Home: Overview

3. GPCR in Red Tide Blooms: Exploring Tools in Improving Coastal Ecosystem

Dinoflagellates are a class of ancient, single-celled algae with remarkable diversity; they are also major indicators of climate change, acting as endosymbionts in corals and forming toxic red tide blooms. As the global climate warms, coral bleaching and red tide events have become more common, threatening marine biodiversity and human health. Despite the relevance to climate change especially its effect in red tide blooms, dinoflagellate research remains sparse due to challenges in genome sequencing (60 times bigger than our human), laboratory culture, and molecular techniques. 

dino-signaling pathway.png

Recent research implicates the involvement of GPCR pathways in bioluminescent dinoflagellates. Understanding the bioluminescence system in dinoflagellates will lead to new, more specific methods of red tide control, and the results of dinoflagellate GPCR research may have far-reaching applications in receptor research as a model system. As the unicellular organism that possesses the GPCR-bioluminescent signaling, it may also play a significant role in GPCR evolution from the non-GPCR bacterial rhodopsin to multicellular organisms. The long-term vision for this line of research is to unravel the role of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) in the bioluminescent signaling process that are relevant to ecosystem, public health, and evolution with an aim of modulating these receptors in the red tide blooms, improving coastal ecosystem, and understanding unicellular GPCR in the evolution. 

bottom of page