What Was Old Is New Again: The Pennate Diatom Haslea ostrearia (Gaillon) Simonsen in the Multi-Omic Age

Noujoud Gabed, Frédéric Verret, Aurélie Peticca, Igor Kryvoruchko, Romain Gastineau, Orlane Bosson, Julie Séveno, Olga Davidovich, Nikolai Davidovich, Andrzej Witkowski, Jon Bent Kristoffersen, Amel Benali, Efstathia Ioannou, Aikaterini Koutsaviti, Vassilios Roussis, Hélène Gâteau, Suliya Phimmaha, Vincent Leignel, Myriam Badawi, Feriel KhiarNellie Francezon, Mostefa Fodil, Pamela Pasetto, Jean Luc Mouget

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The marine pennate diatom Haslea ostrearia has long been known for its characteristic blue pigment marennine, which is responsible for the greening of invertebrate gills, a natural phenomenon of great importance for the oyster industry. For two centuries, this taxon was considered unique; however, the recent description of a new blue Haslea species revealed unsuspected biodiversity. Marennine-like pigments are natural blue dyes that display various biological activities—e.g., an-tibacterial, antioxidant and antiproliferative—with a great potential for applications in the food, feed, cosmetic and health industries. Regarding fundamental prospects, researchers use model organisms as standards to study cellular and physiological processes in other organisms, and there is a growing and crucial need for more, new and unconventional model organisms to better correspond to the diversity of the tree of life. The present work, thus, advocates for establishing H. ostrearia as a new model organism by presenting its pros and cons—i.e., the interesting aspects of this peculiar diatom (representative of benthic-epiphytic phytoplankton, with original behavior and chemodiversity, controlled sexual reproduction, fundamental and applied-oriented importance, reference genome, and transcriptome will soon be available); it will also present the difficulties encountered before this becomes a reality as it is for other diatom models (the genetics of the species in its infancy, the transformation feasibility to be explored, the routine methods needed to cryopreserve strains of interest).

Original languageEnglish
Article number234
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • auxosporulation
  • diatoms
  • epigenetics
  • genomics
  • Haslea ostrearia
  • HBIs
  • marennine
  • phylogeny
  • transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)


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