THE PLANT GENOME: AN EVOLUTIONARY VIEW ON STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION
Decoding algal genomes: tracing back the history of photosynthetic life on Earth
Article first published online: 28 MAR 2011
© 2011 The Authors. The Plant Journal © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
The Plant Journal
Special Issue: The Plant Genome: An Evolutionary View on Structure and Function
Volume 66, Issue 1, pages 45–57, April 2011
How to Cite
Tirichine, L. and Bowler, C. (2011), Decoding algal genomes: tracing back the history of photosynthetic life on Earth. The Plant Journal, 66: 45–57. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2011.04540.x
- Issue published online: 28 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 28 MAR 2011
- Received 4 November 2010; revised 6 February 2011; accepted 8 February 2011.
- comparative genomics;
- epigentics and adaptation;
The last decade has witnessed outstanding progress in sequencing the genomes of photosynthetic eukaryotes, from major cereal crops to single celled marine phytoplankton. For the algae, we now have whole genome sequences from green, red, and brown representatives, and multiple efforts based on comparative and functional genomics approaches have provided information about the unicellular origins of higher plants, and about the evolution of photosynthetic life in general. Here we present some of the highlights from such studies, including the endosymbiotic origins of photosynthetic protists and their positioning with respect to plants and animals, the evolution of multicellularity in photosynthetic lineages, the role of sex in unicellular algae, and the potential relevance of epigenetic processes in contributing to the adaptation of algae to their environment.