Brown algae are important organisms both because of their key ecological roles in coastal ecosystems and because of the remarkable biological features that they have acquired during their unusual evolutionary history. The recent sequencing of the complete genome of the filamentous brown alga Ectocarpus has provided unprecedented access to the molecular processes that underlie brown algal biology. Analysis of the genome sequence, which exhibits several unusual structural features, identified genes that are predicted to play key roles in several aspects of brown algal metabolism, in the construction of the multicellular bodyplan and in resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Information from the genome sequence is currently being used in combination with other genomic, genetic and biochemical tools to further investigate these and other aspects of brown algal biology at the molecular level. Here, we review some of the major discoveries that emerged from the analysis of the Ectocarpus genome sequence, with a particular focus on the unusual genome structure, inferences about brown algal evolution and novel aspects of brown algal metabolism.
|Number of pages||44|
|Journal||Advances in Botanical Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Oct 2012|
- Brown algae
- Cell biology
- Cell signalling
- Eukaryotic evolution