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Dynamical states of self-organized waves in a giant single-celled organism feeding on light

Afik, Eldad and Liu, Toni J. B. and Meyerowitz, Elliot M. (2023) Dynamical states of self-organized waves in a giant single-celled organism feeding on light. . (Unpublished)

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Living systems often appear to act upon potential outcomes, exhibiting anticipatory behavior. Here we studyCaulerpa brachypus, a marine green alga consisting of differentiated organs resembling leaves, stems and roots. While an individual can exceed a meter in size, it is a single multinucleated giant cell. Our experimental work reveals self-organized waves of greenness — chloroplasts — that propagate throughout the alga and anticipate the day-night light cycle. Using dynamical systems analysis we show that these waves are coupled to a self-sustained oscillator, and demonstrate their entrainment to light. Under constant conditions we find that light intensity affects the natural period and can drive transition to temporal disorder. We find also that the rate of development of organs, and their shape and size, depend on light intensity and its temporal distribution. The findings suggest the waves and their environmental control as a link among biological oscillators, metabolism and morphogenesis.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Afik, Eldad0000-0002-8887-2166
Meyerowitz, Elliot M.0000-0003-4798-5153
Additional Information:The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted bioRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. It is made available under a CC-BY 4.0 International license. The laboratory of E.M.M. is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. E.A. has been awarded the Zuckerman Israeli Postdoctoral Scholar, Zuckerman STEM Lead-ership Program, and the Biology and Biological Engineering Divisional Fellowship, Caltech. T.J.B.L. has been awarded the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), Caltech. Author contributions Conceptualization: E.M.M proposed studying morphogenesis in Caulerpa; E.A. designed the study; Methodology: E.A. designed the experimental system and analysis; Investigation: E.A. performed the measurements; E.A. and T.J.B.L. performed computational analysis; Visualization: E.A. and T.J.B.L.; Funding acquisition: E.M.M.; Writing – original draft: E.A.; Writing – review & editing: E.A. and E.M.M.; All authors discussed and commented on the manuscript. Data and materials availability. Analyzed data are available in the main text. Raw data, code and materials are available upon request from E.A. and E.M.M. All programming and computer aided analysis has been done using open-source projects, primarily tools from the Scientific Python ecosystem. Distributed image processing was conducted in the Resnick High Performance Computing Center, a facility supported by Resnick Sustainability Institute at the California Institute of Technology. The authors have declared no competing interest.
Group:Resnick Sustainability Institute
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Mortimer B. Zuckerman STEM Leadership ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Division of Biology and Biological EngineeringUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)UNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20230316-182110000.13
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:120132
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:22 Mar 2023 16:09
Last Modified:22 Mar 2023 16:09

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