My name is Florent, I’m a 4th year PhD student working under the supervision of Helena Cruz de Carvalho, in Chris Bowler’s labs at the Institut de Biologie of the ENS (IBENS). I have a strong interest in molecular biology and genetics, which led me to work on the non-coding genome of the team’s model diatom species, Phaeodactylum tricornutum. During my PhD, I focused on the optimization of the CRISPR-Cas9 system using a dual-RNA guide approach to generate diatom mutant strains. To do this, I used the ability of diatoms to undergo bacterial conjugation, which provides an elegant and “clean” approach to insert genetic material within the cells. This enabled me to generate a bank of KO diatom mutants of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), previously identified as specificly regulated by phosphate depletion. In parallel, I used a global transcriptomic approach to understand the short- and long-term acclimation responses of Phaeodactylum to drastic changes in salinity in the environment. This provided thorough insights into the highly specific patterns of expression of lncRNAs, reinforcing their putative regulatory roles in diatom acclimation to a changing environment.

Global transcriptome of short- and long-term hyposaline acclimation in a marine diatom: links to the non-coding genome