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Ostreococcus tauri is the smallest free-living unicellular organism with one copy of each core cell cycle genes in its genome. There is a growing interest in this green algae due to its evolutionary origin. Since O. tauri is diverged early in the green lineage, relatively close to the ancestral eukaryotic cell, it might hold a key phylogenetic position in the eukaryotic tree of life. In this study, we focus on the regulatory network of its cell division cycle. We propose a mathematical modelling framework to integrate the existing knowledge of cell cycle network of O. tauri. We observe that feedback loop regulation of both G1/S and G2/M transitions in O. tauri is conserved, which can make the transition bistable. This is essential to make the transition irreversible as shown in other eukaryotic organisms. By performing sequence analysis, we also predict the presence of the Greatwall/PP2A pathway in the cell cycle of O. tauri. Since O. tauri cell cycle machinery is conserved, the exploration of the dynamical characteristic of the cell division cycle will help in further understanding the regulation of cell cycle in higher eukaryotes.

Original publication




Journal article


Plant Physiol Biochem

Publication Date





39 - 46


Cell cycle, Greatwall, Mathematical modelling, Ostreococcus tauri, Systems biology