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 Discovery of a Key Regulatory Gene in Cardiac Valve Formation
24.05.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Carcinogenic soot particles from GDI engines
24.05.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>