• carbon metabolism;
  • differential expression;
  • expressed sequence tags;
  • gametophyte;
  • Laminaria digitata;
  • Phaeophyceae;
  • sporophyte

An expressed sequence tag (EST) approach was used to retrieve cDNA clones involved in carbon metabolism in Laminaria digitata Lamouroux. Six partial open reading frames were identified, respectively encoding an α-type carbonic anhydrase (CA), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (6PGDH), phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK), glycolate oxidase (GLO), and GDP-4-keto-6-d-mannose-3,5-epimerase-4-reductase, also known as fucose synthase (FS). These enzymes were further characterized through Southern blot analyses, amino acid sequence comparisons, and patterns of expression. In contrast to the other genes, which are expressed in both the gametophytic and sporophytic generations of L. digitata, the α-type carbonic anhydrase messenger RNA was shown by RT-PCR and northern blot analyses to be present in the gametophytes only. The evolutionary relationships of these genes and their interest as molecular tools for investigating carbon fluxes in brown algae are discussed.