The photo-protective role of vitamin D in the microalga Emiliania huxleyi

Or Eliason, Sergey Malitsky, Irina Panizel, Ester Feldmesser, Ziv Porat, Martin Sperfeld, Einat Segev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An essential interaction between sunlight and eukaryotes involves vitamin D production through exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. While extensively studied in vertebrates, the role of vitamin D in non-animal eukaryotes like microalgae remains unclear. Here, we investigate the potential involvement of vitamin D in the UV-triggered response of Emiliania huxleyi, a microalga inhabiting shallow ocean depths that are exposed to UV. Our results show that E. huxleyi produces vitamin D2 and D3 in response to UV. We further demonstrate that E. huxleyi responds to external administration of vitamin D at the transcriptional level, regulating protective mechanisms that are also responsive to UV. Our data reveal that vitamin D addition enhances algal photosynthetic performance while reducing harmful reactive oxygen species buildup. This study contributes to understanding the function of vitamin D in E. huxleyi and its role in non-animal eukaryotes, as well as its potential importance in marine ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109884
Issue number6
StatePublished - 21 Jun 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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