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Friday, July 19, 2019

Multiple independent changes in mitochondrial genome conformation in chlamydomonadalean algae

Chlamydomonadalean green algae are no stranger to linear mitochondrial genomes, particularly members of the Reinhardtinia clade. At least nine different Reinhardtinia species are known to have linear mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs), including the model species Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Thus, it is no surprise that some have suggested that the most recent common ancestor of the Reinhardtinia clade had a linear mtDNA. But the recent uncovering of circular-mapping mtDNAs in a range of Reinhardtinia algae, such as Volvox carteri and Tetrabaena socialis, has shed doubt on this hypothesis. Here, we explore mtDNA sequence and structure within the colonial Reinhardtinia algae Yamagishiella unicocca and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Review of the algal biology program within the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts

In 2010, when the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB) consortium began, little was known about the molecular basis of algal biomass or oil production. Very few algal genome sequences were available and efforts to identify the best-producing wild species through bioprospecting approaches had largely stalled after the U.S. Department of Energy’s Aquatic Species Program. This lack of knowledge included how reduced carbon was partitioned into storage products like triglycerides or starch and the role played by metabolite remodeling in the accumulation of energy-dense storage products. Furthermore, genetic transformation and metabolic engineering approaches to improve algal biomass and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Draft nuclear genome sequence of the liquid hydrocarbon–accumulating green microalga Botryococcus braunii race B (Showa).

Botryococcus braunii has long been known as a prodigious producer of liquid hydrocarbon oils that can be converted into combustion engine fuels. This draft genome for the B race of B. braunii will allow researchers to unravel important hydrocarbon biosynthetic pathways and identify possible regulatory networks controlling this unusual metabolism. Copyright © 2017 Browne et al.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Chromosome-level genome assembly and transcriptome of the green alga Chromochloris zofingiensis illuminates astaxanthin production.

Microalgae have potential to help meet energy and food demands without exacerbating environmental problems. There is interest in the unicellular green alga Chromochloris zofingiensis, because it produces lipids for biofuels and a highly valuable carotenoid nutraceutical, astaxanthin. To advance understanding of its biology and facilitate commercial development, we present a C. zofingiensis chromosome-level nuclear genome, organelle genomes, and transcriptome from diverse growth conditions. The assembly, derived from a combination of short- and long-read sequencing in conjunction with optical mapping, revealed a compact genome of ~58 Mbp distributed over 19 chromosomes containing 15,274 predicted protein-coding genes. The genome has uniform gene…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Insights into the red algae and eukaryotic evolution from the genome of Porphyra umbilicalis (Bangiophyceae, Rhodophyta).

Porphyra umbilicalis (laver) belongs to an ancient group of red algae (Bangiophyceae), is harvested for human food, and thrives in the harsh conditions of the upper intertidal zone. Here we present the 87.7-Mbp haploid Porphyra genome (65.8% G + C content, 13,125 gene loci) and elucidate traits that inform our understanding of the biology of red algae as one of the few multicellular eukaryotic lineages. Novel features of the Porphyra genome shared by other red algae relate to the cytoskeleton, calcium signaling, the cell cycle, and stress-tolerance mechanisms including photoprotection. Cytoskeletal motor proteins in Porphyra are restricted to a small…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Draft nuclear genome sequence of the halophilic and beta-carotene-accumulating green alga Dunaliella salina strain CCAP19/18.

The halotolerant alga Dunaliella salina is a model for stress tolerance and is used commercially for production of beta-carotene (=pro-vitamin A). The presented draft genome of the genuine strain CCAP19/18 will allow investigations into metabolic processes involved in regulation of stress responses, including carotenogenesis and adaptations to life in high-salinity environments. Copyright © 2017 Polle et al.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The plastid genome in Cladophorales green algae is encoded by hairpin chromosomes.

Virtually all plastid (chloroplast) genomes are circular double-stranded DNA molecules, typically between 100 and 200 kb in size and encoding circa 80-250 genes. Exceptions to this universal plastid genome architecture are very few and include the dinoflagellates, where genes are located on DNA minicircles. Here we report on the highly deviant chloroplast genome of Cladophorales green algae, which is entirely fragmented into hairpin chromosomes. Short- and long-read high-throughput sequencing of DNA and RNA demonstrated that the chloroplast genes of Boodlea composita are encoded on 1- to 7-kb DNA contigs with an exceptionally high GC content, each containing a long inverted…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Glaucophyta

The Glaucophyta is by far the least species-rich phylum of the Archaeplastida comprising only four described genera, Glaucocystis, Cyanophora, Gloeochaete, and Cyanoptyche, and 15 species. However, recent molecular and morphological analyses reveal that glaucophytes are not as species poor as hitherto assumed with many novel lineages existing in natural environments. Glaucophytes are freshwater phototrophs of moderate to low abundance and retain many ancestral plastid traits derived from the cyanobacterial donor of this organelle, including the remnant peptidoglycan wall in their envelope. These plastids were originally named “cyanelles,” which was later changed to “muroplasts” when their shared ancestry with other Archaeplastida…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

A viral immunity chromosome in the marine picoeukaryote, Ostreococcus tauri.

Micro-algae of the genus Ostreococcus and related species of the order Mamiellales are globally distributed in the photic zone of world’s oceans where they contribute to fixation of atmospheric carbon and production of oxygen, besides providing a primary source of nutrition in the food web. Their tiny size, simple cells, ease of culture, compact genomes and susceptibility to the most abundant large DNA viruses in the sea render them attractive as models for integrative marine biology. In culture, spontaneous resistance to viruses occurs frequently. Here, we show that virus-producing resistant cell lines arise in many independent cell lines during lytic…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Next-generation sequencing of Haematococcus lacustris reveals an extremely large 1.35-megabase chloroplast genome.

Haematococcus lacustris is an industrially relevant microalga that is used for the production of the carotenoid astaxanthin. Here, we report the use of PacBio long-read sequencing to assemble the chloroplast genome of H. lacustris strain UTEX:2505. At 1.35?Mb, this is the largest assembled chloroplast of any plant or alga known to date. Copyright © 2018 Bauman et al.

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