Volatile growth regulators play an important role in triggering aspects related to red seaweed reproduction. The last 10 years have brought clarification to how ethylene and methyl jasmonate work. Taking two reproductive stages of thalli of red seaweed—fertilised and fertile thalli—as benchmarks and a precise characterisation of the elicitation and disclosure periods of cystocarps, monitoring different gene expressions, namely candidate gene for reproduction and genes encoding proteins involved in biosynthesis pathways of both volatiles and reactive oxygen species, has enabled us to discern the differential behaviour of genes. These studies have also revealed that the volatile-mediated signal could affect cell wall loosening. All in all, studies have shown evidence of putative signalling pathways where volatile signal regulators form part of them at several levels, ranging from disclosure, development to the maturing of cystocarps. This signal information is crucial to determine the final response. The chapter also discusses whether signal transduction is related to different sensing for each volatile and whether this could be elicited in accordance with signal strength. This chapter compiles our current understanding of molecular mechanisms of algal reproduction and how volatile-mediated signals affect other developmental processes.
Part of the book: Systems Biology