Nitric oxide production by Emiliania huxleyi

Nitric oxide (NO) is a free radical molecule and is therefore relatively reactive with other molecules, especially other radicals. Biological NO production was first discovered in human endothelial cells where it was identified as the endothelium-derived relaxation factor, a compound responsible for vasodilation. NO was named by Science as “Molecule of the Year” in 1992. In 1998 it was the topic receiving the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

NO is produced by all kingdoms of life. However, relatively little is known about the production mechanisms and physiological roles of NO in algae. We are currently studying various aspects of NO biology in the cosmopolitan coccolithophore species Emiliania huxleyi.


  1. Schieler, B.M., Soni, M.V., Brown, C.M., Coolen, M.J.L., Fredricks, H., Van Mooy, B.A.S., Hirsh, D.J. and K.D. Bidle (2019) Nitric oxide production and antioxidant function during viral infection of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi. The ISME Journal. (Published online). Link.
  2. Hirsh, D.J., Schieler, B.M., Fomchenko, K.M., Jordan, E.T., Bidle, K.D. (2016) A liposome-encapsulated spin trap for the detection of nitric oxide. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 96: 199-210. Link.


  1. Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Grant (GBMF3789) to K. Bidle.