Ecological and evolutionary genomics of marine photosynthetic organisms

Authors

  • Susana M. Coelho,

    Corresponding author
    1. CNRS UMR 7139, The Marine Plants and Biomolecules Laboratory, Roscoff, France
    • UPMC-Université Paris 06, Roscoff, France
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  • Nathalie Simon,

    1. UPMC-Université Paris 06, Roscoff, France
    2. CNRS UMR 7144, Adaptation and Diversity in the Marine Environment, Oceanic Plankton Group, Roscoff, France
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  • Sophia Ahmed,

    1. UPMC-Université Paris 06, Roscoff, France
    2. CNRS UMR 7139, The Marine Plants and Biomolecules Laboratory, Roscoff, France
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  • J. Mark Cock,

    1. UPMC-Université Paris 06, Roscoff, France
    2. CNRS UMR 7139, The Marine Plants and Biomolecules Laboratory, Roscoff, France
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  • Frédéric Partensky

    Corresponding author
    1. CNRS UMR 7144, Adaptation and Diversity in the Marine Environment, Oceanic Plankton Group, Roscoff, France
    • UPMC-Université Paris 06, Roscoff, France
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Correspondence: Susana M. Coelho; Frédéric Partensky, Fax: 00 33 298 29 23 85; E-mail: coelho@sb-roscoff.fr; partensky@sb-roscoff.fr

Abstract

Environmental (ecological) genomics aims to understand the genetic basis of relationships between organisms and their abiotic and biotic environments. It is a rapidly progressing field of research largely due to recent advances in the speed and volume of genomic data being produced by next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. Building on information generated by NGS-based approaches, functional genomic methodologies are being applied to identify and characterize genes and gene systems of both environmental and evolutionary relevance. Marine photosynthetic organisms (MPOs) were poorly represented amongst the early genomic models, but this situation is changing rapidly. Here we provide an overview of the recent advances in the application of ecological genomic approaches to both prokaryotic and eukaryotic MPOs. We describe how these approaches are being used to explore the biology and ecology of marine cyanobacteria and algae, particularly with regard to their functions in a broad range of marine ecosystems. Specifically, we review the ecological and evolutionary insights gained from whole genome and transcriptome sequencing projects applied to MPOs and illustrate how their genomes are yielding information on the specific features of these organisms.

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