September 22, 2019  |  

Insights into the evolution of multicellularity from the sea lettuce genome.

Authors: De Clerck, Olivier and Kao, Shu-Min and Bogaert, Kenny A and Blomme, Jonas and Foflonker, Fatima and Kwantes, Michiel and Vancaester, Emmelien and Vanderstraeten, Lisa and Aydogdu, Eylem and Boesger, Jens and Califano, Gianmaria and Charrier, Benedicte and Clewes, Rachel and Del Cortona, Andrea and D'Hondt, Sofie and Fernandez-Pozo, Noe and Gachon, Claire M and Hanikenne, Marc and Lattermann, Linda and Leliaert, Frederik and Liu, Xiaojie and Maggs, Christine A and Popper, Zoë A and Raven, John A and Van Bel, Michiel and Wilhelmsson, Per K I and Bhattacharya, Debashish and Coates, Juliet C and Rensing, Stefan A and Van Der Straeten, Dominique and Vardi, Assaf and Sterck, Lieven and Vandepoele, Klaas and Van de Peer, Yves and Wichard, Thomas and Bothwell, John H

We report here the 98.5 Mbp haploid genome (12,924 protein coding genes) of Ulva mutabilis, a ubiquitous and iconic representative of the Ulvophyceae or green seaweeds. Ulva's rapid and abundant growth makes it a key contributor to coastal biogeochemical cycles; its role in marine sulfur cycles is particularly important because it produces high levels of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), the main precursor of volatile dimethyl sulfide (DMS). Rapid growth makes Ulva attractive biomass feedstock but also increasingly a driver of nuisance "green tides." Ulvophytes are key to understanding the evolution of multicellularity in the green lineage, and Ulva morphogenesis is dependent on bacterial signals, making it an important species with which to study cross-kingdom communication. Our sequenced genome informs these aspects of ulvophyte cell biology, physiology, and ecology. Gene family expansions associated with multicellularity are distinct from those of freshwater algae. Candidate genes, including some that arose following horizontal gene transfer from chromalveolates, are present for the transport and metabolism of DMSP. The Ulva genome offers, therefore, new opportunities to understand coastal and marine ecosystems and the fundamental evolution of the green lineage. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Journal: Current biology
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.08.015
Year: 2018

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