News from CRG
An international consortium of scientist including researchers at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona has sequenced the genome of the common red seaweed, Irish moss (Chondrus crispus). With this work we now know much more about how red algae work, how they make their biomolecules, and the evolution of plants and algae. The results have been published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“What we found when analysing the genome was that the red seaweeds are very different to their green cousins: they have fewer genes than most of their green relatives, the genes are more compact and many genes are not found in the two groups”, explains Jonas Collén, principal investigator of the project. The sequencing of the genome has helped us to understand the evolution of plants. “One of the important questions we had in this project was to identify which genes of the red algae can be also found in other species. There are lineages that established symbiotic relationships with protozoa and it was thought that this relationship allowed them to get new genes”, adds Toni Gabaldón, group leader of the Comparative Genomics lab at the CRG.
Genome structure and metabolic features in the red seaweed Chondrus crispus shed light on evolution of the Archaeplastida. Jonas Collén, et al. Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Online published week of March 11, 2013.