Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

La vie en rouge

28.03.2013
An international consortium of scientist 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 was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Walking on a rocky intertidal shore you will see a fascinating landscape often dominated by large algae of different sorts. It is a beautiful environment full of fantastic discoveries including the enigmatic seaweeds. Despite the absence of flowers, colour is not lacking among the algae; the normal colour of grass and herbs is here often replaced with more red and brown than green.

The red colour is provided by the red seaweeds. The red seaweeds are the evolutionary sister group to all green plants and algae and had common ancestor approximately 1,500 million years ago. Compared to the green plants we know very little of red algae, even though according to the secondary endosymbiosis theory, their photosynthetic machinery has been adopted by a majority of the phytoplankton, including diatoms and dinoflagellates.

To learn more about these enigmatic plants biologist Stefan Rensing from the University of Marburg together with an international consortium led by the Station Biologique de Roscoff has analyzed the genome of Chondrus crispus, or Irish moss. The consortium is led by the Station Biologique de Roscoff in Brittany, France, belonging to Le Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) and Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC).

The genome was sequenced and informatically annotated by the French National Sequencing Center, Genoscope. Chondrus is an up to 20 cm typical red seaweed commonly found on rocky shores in the Northern Atlantic. This species has historically been used as one way to make blancmange, a dessert that can be made by boiling Irish moss with milk and sugar. The compound that thickens the milk, carrageenan, is nowadays used in the food industry (E407) in products like ice-cream and pudding. Globally, red algae are used as food and as a source of thickeners and represent a value of over 2,000 million US dollars annually.

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. The sequencing of the genome has helped us to understand the evolution of plants: we propose that the red algae went through a bottleneck in their evolution, loosing many of the genes and reduced their size. Today’s land plants and trees are green; without this bottleneck for the red algae maybe our trees and flowers would have been red...

The genome also helps us to understand how the red algae are related to other organisms, how they live in their environment and how they produce their biomolecules, such as carrageenans, and will greatly accelerate efforts to understand the biology of these fascinating organisms in the coming years.

The Chondrus consortium included laboratories from France, Germany, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Spain, Egypt, Norway and Greece. Major funding, informatics support and sequencing strategy were provided by the French Genome Center Genoscope.

Reference: Jonas Collén & al.: Genome structure and metabolic features in the red seaweed Chondrus crispus shed light on evolution of the Archaeplastida, PNAS 110 (13)/2013, 5247-5252, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1221259110

Contact person: Professor Dr. Stefan Rensing,
Faculty of Biology
E-Mail: stefan.rensing@biologie.uni-marburg.de
Internet: http://plantco.de

Johannes Scholten | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-marburg.de
http://plantco.de

Further reports about: Algae Chondrus Genom Genoscope Phytoplankton dinoflagellates green plants red alga

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History

nachricht New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>