Paris, 11 march 2013

Why red algae never colonized dry land

The first red alga genome has just been sequenced by an international team coordinated by CNRS and UPMC at the Station Biologique de Roscoff (Brittany), notably involving researchers from CEA-Genoscope1, the universities of Lille 1 and Rennes 1 and the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle2. The genome of Chondrus crispus, also known by the Breton name 'pioka', turns out to be small and compact for a multicellular organism. It has fewer genes than several other species of unicellular algae, which raises a number of questions about the evolution of red algae. This low number of genes could explain why these organisms never colonized dry land, unlike their green counterparts—from which all terrestrial plants are descended. These findings open up new perspectives on the natural history of algae and of terrestrial plants. They are published online in the journal PNAS on March 11th 2013.

To download the press release : Algues


1CEA-Genoscope was in charge of the sequencing and annotation facility.
2Led by the research unit Végétaux marins et biomolécules (CNRS/UPMC), this study also involved the following French laboratories : Génomique métabolique (CEA/CNRS/Université d'Evry) at CEA-Genoscope, Glycobiologie structurale et fonctionnelle (CNRS/Univ. Lille 1), Laboratoire d'océanographie microbienne (CNRS/UPMC), Ecosystèmes, biodiversité, évolution (CNRS/Univ. Rennes 1), Biologie des organismes et écosystèmes aquatiques (CNRS/Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle/IRD/UPMC), Adaptation et diversité en milieu marin (CNRS/UPMC) and Génome et développement des plantes (CNRS/Université de Perpignan).


Genome structure and metabolic features in the red seaweed Chondrus crispus shed light on evolution of the Archaeplastida. Jonas Collén, Betina Porcel, Wilfrid Carré, Steven G. Ball, Cristian Chaparro, Thierry Tonon, Tristan Barbeyron, Gurvan Michel, Benjamin Noel, Klaus Valentin, Marek Elias, François Artiguenave, Alok Arun, Jean-Marc Aury, José F. Barbosa-Neto, John H. Bothwell, François-Yves Bouget, Loraine Brillet, Francisco Cabello-Hurtado, Salvador Capella-Gutiérrez, Bénédicte Charrier, Lionel Cladière, J. Mark Cock, Susana M. Coelho, Christophe Colleoni, Mirjam Czjzek, Corinne Da Silva, Ludovic Delage, France Denoeud, Philippe Deschamps, Simon M. Dittami, Toni Gabaldón, Claire M. M. Gachon, Agnès Groisillier, Cécile Hervé, Kamel Jabbari, Michael Katinka, Bernard Kloareg, Nathalie Kowalczyk, Karine Labadie, Catherine Leblanc, Pascal J. Lopez, Deirdre H. McLachlan, Laurence Meslet-Cladiere, Ahmed Moustafa, Zofia Nehr, Pi Nyvall Collén, Olivier Panaud, Frédéric Partensky, Julie Poulain, Stefan A. Rensing, Sylvie Rousvoal, Gaelle Samson, Aikaterini Symeonidi, Jean Weissenbach, Antonios Zambounis, Patrick Wincker and Catherine Boyen, PNAS. Available online w/c March 11, 2013.


Researcher l Catherine Boyen I T +33 (0)2 98 29 23 31 l
Jonas Collén l
CNRS Press Officer l Priscilla Dacher l T +33 (0)1 44 96 46 06 l


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