Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genome of the diatom Phaeodactylum sequenced

16.10.2008
A large international group of researchers succeeded in sequencing the genome of a marine alga.

The periodical nature reports that it is the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum ("The Phaeodactylum genome reveals the evolutionary history of diatom genomes" nature online, October 15th 2008).

The researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association who participated in the research project concentrated primarily on this diatom's evolution.

The genes of marine organisms have increasingly been investigated for some years - at first only those of bacteria which have a relatively small genome. By now, micro algae are also at the focus of the researchers' attention. They belong to the phytoplankton, the basis of the marine food chain. The probably most important group, the diatoms, plays a particular role. These algae are responsible for 40 percent of marine photosynthesis; this corresponds to a worldwide proportion of 20 percent. Diatoms have an important function in the earth's carbon dioxide balance.

The researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute are particularly concerned with the evolution of diatoms within the framework of this research project. These algae form a symbiosis of several cell types which distinguishes them from land plants. Traces of different cell types have been found in the genome of Phaeodactylum tricornutum, and its proportion of the metabolism of algae species has also been analysed at the Alfred Wegener Institute. It has been shown that the diatom possesses a broad spectrum of photosynthesis genes which might have contributed to its success in the seas.

Not only the photosynthetic performance is interesting for the researchers, but also the highly robust shells of the diatoms as well as their capacity to produce large quantities of high-quality vegetable oils - the well known omega-3 fatty acids. Actually, these oils come primarily from diatoms and they make fish such a precious food source. Energy producers have recently shown an interest in diatoms. The oils of diatoms could be used as bio fuels, replacing diesel fuel.

The paper "The Phaeodactylum genome reveals the evolutionary history of diatom genomes" will be published online in the periodical nature October 15th 2008.

The Alfred Wegener Institute carries out research in the Arctic and Antarctic as well as in the high and mid latitude oceans. The institute coordinates German polar research and makes available to international science important infrastructure, e.g. the research icebreaker "Polarstern" and research stations in the Arctic and Antarctic. The Alfred Wegener Institute is one of 15 research centres within the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, Germany's largest scientific organization.

Margarete Pauls | idw
Further information:
http://www.awi.de/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>