Projects & Grants

Internal Grant Competition DGC

A genomic approach to unravelling the biology and evolution of eustigmatophyte algae
Project Id13-33039S
Main solverprof. Mgr. Marek Eliáš, Ph.D.
Period2/2013 - 12/2015
ProviderStandardní projekt GA ČR
AnotationExcept the genus Nannochloropsis known for its biotechnological applications, the algal class Eustigmatophyceae (eustigs) remains a rather poorly studied group despite its many peculiar features and a general potential for biotechnologies. Our recent research revealed two additional important aspects of eustig biology: their phylogenetic diversity is much higher than thought previously; and some features and phylogenetic analyses suggest that a eustig-related organism was a plastid donor for plastidbearing alveolates (including medically critical apicomplexans). We therefore propose a project to explore genomes and transcriptomes of four phylogenetically diverse eustigs with the aim to illuminate several fundamental questions of eustig biology, genetics and evolution. The newly generated genomic data will provide an invaluable resource for a broader research community interested in biochemistry, cell biology, and evolution of eukaryotes, especially algae, and will set a basis for applied research leading to biotechnological applications of eustig algae beyond Nannochloropsis.