Scientific sessions, CRG Group Leader Seminars
Comparative Genomics Group, Bioinformatics and Genomics Programme, CRG
Toni Gabaldón is an ICREA research professor and head of the comparative genomics group at the bioinformatics and genomics department at CRG. He trained as a biochemist and molecular biologist at the University of Valencia (Spain), and did his PhD at the NCMLS (The Netherlands) in Bioinformatics and Genomics. In 2008 he joined the CRG where his group focuses on the use of phylogenomics and comparative genomics to understand how phenotypes, organelles and biological pathways evolve across species, and in the application of this knowledge to better understand relevant processes, including those related to human disease.
The origin of eukaryotes has been described as one of the major problems in evolutionary biology. Past research has shown that the Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor (LECA) already possessed many eukaryotic hallmarks, including a complex subcellular organization. However, the lack of evolutionary intermediates challenges the elucidation of how these eukaryotic traits emerged. Phylogenomics offers a tool to dig into the past of extant species and obtain information about ancient events. Here I would present how phylogenomics analysis from our group has helped to answer several important questions about the origin of one relevant an ubiquitous eukaryotic organelle, the mitochondrion, which is central to all current hypotheses on the evolution of eukaryotes.