Navigation Links
DNA sequencing uncovers secrets of white cliffs of Dover
Date:6/13/2013

The University of Exeter recently contributed to a major international project to sequence the genome of Emiliania huxleyi, the microscopic plankton species whose chalky skeletons form the iconic white cliffs of Dover. The results of the project are published this week in the journal Nature.

Emiliania huxleyi is one of the most abundant marine phytoplankton species and is a key player in the process of CO2 exchange between the atmosphere and the ocean. In some marine systems 20% of the total carbon is fixed by E. huxleyi. This microscopic alga has influenced the global climate for over 200 million years, so is used as a model system for studying how physical, chemical and biological processes regulate the Earth's systems. The algae form pale chalky cases called coccoliths which during the spring bloom can be seen from space in the seas around the UK. E. huxleyi directly links to climate change through the production of dimethylsulfide (DMS), which induces cloud formation and blocks solar radiation.

Thanks to new technology next generation DNA sequencing 13 different isolates were sequenced from around the world, and compared to a complete sequence constructed for E. huxleyi strain CCMP1516. The allowed the team to understand the influences of different environmental conditions on E. huxleyi physiology. The international team found that E. huxleyi possess a higher number of genes than previously published marine phytoplankton genomes, and that most genes were present in multiple copies.

Dr Mark Van Der Giezen from the University of Exeter said: "Using comprehensive analysis to compare different strains of the algae, we demonstrated that E. huxleyi should no longer be considered a single species. Substantial variation in the genome indicates contrasting metabolic composition and supports the idea that E. huxleyi is a species complex."

Comparing patterns, or phylogenetic relationships, in the genomes of the different strains identified three groups which did not relate to geographic origin nor genome size. Further research into the genomes revealed that the E. huxleyi genome includes core regions shared by all samples with some variable elements. Regions with high levels of tandem repeats and low complexity may have allowed rapid evolutionary adaptation over many millions of years, allowing current strains to live in a range of light conditions.

The study of the E. huxleyi genome shows many unexpected features that may be unique or common in microalgae warranting further investigation. For example, metabolic pathways, known previously only in fungi and animals that allow lipid synthesis were found. Using this new insight into an age-old algae, there is future potential for E. huxleyi to be used to synthesise nutritional supplements, biofuels, feedstock and polymer precursors, which may make E. huxleyi a valuable species for cutting-edge biotechnology.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jo Bowler
j.bowler@exeter.ac.uk
44-013-927-22062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Powerful sequencing technology decodes DNA folding pattern
2. Sequencing works in clinical setting to help -- finally -- get a diagnosis
3. The sequencing of the tomato genome
4. DNA Sequencing: Emerging Technologies and Applications
5. Next-generation sequencing technology opens doors to discoveries
6. University of North Texas Health Science Center Advances Forensic Research by Investing in Semiconductor DNA Sequencing Technology
7. Exome sequencing gives cheaper, faster diagnosis in heterogeneous disease
8. An error-eliminating fix overcomes big problem in 3rd-gen genome sequencing
9. Exome sequencing of health condition extremes can reveal susceptibility genes
10. New genomic sequencing method enables smarter anaysis of individual cells
11. US-Russian collaboration develops new method for sequencing dark matter of life from a single cell
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... 5, 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , ... server component of the HYPR platform is officially ... end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune ... already secured over 15 million users across the financial ... connected home product suites and physical access represent a ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... HONG KONG , March 30, 2017 ... developed a system for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground ... technology into a new realm of speed and accuracy for use ... applications at an affordable cost. ... ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. Mohamed Anwar and ... international IAIR Award for the most innovative high security ePassport and eGates  ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller General, Mr. Mohamed Anwar ... right) have received the IAIR award for the "Most innovative high security ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... HILLS, Calif. , Oct. 11, 2017  SkylineDx today ... (ICR) and University of Leeds ... risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma (MM), in a multi-centric Phase ... University of Leeds is the sponsor ... and ICR will perform the testing services to include high-risk ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a development-stage cancer-focused pharmaceutical company advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) ... all uses of targeted HPLN (Hybrid Polymerized Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... process optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation ... San Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center announces the ... of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and health regimens. ... operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, Lilach Mazor ...
Breaking Biology Technology: