Prochnik points to both Volvox and Chlamydomonas as experimentally tractable model organisms where the information will be widely used, even by researchers who are not necessarily interested in Volvox biology. "Having the Volvox genome is a fantastic resource for directing further research towards our target areas of interest. With this pair of algal genomes in hand enables us to conduct much more detailed comparisons than would be possible if we only had one species."
David Kirk, professor emeritus at Washington University of St. Louis and a co-author of the publication, predicted that the community working on Volvox will grow significantly over the next five years due to the availability of the genome.
"The work that I've been interested in all my life, which is understanding the origin of multicellularity in this group, has only just begun with the sequence of the genome," said Kirk, considered the grandfather of Volvox biology and a staunch advocate for using the alga to study multicellularity. "Now the answers are going to be much more readily accessible. I sort of wish I had been born later so I could participate, but I'm going to be on the sidelines cheering."
|Contact: David Gilbert|
DOE/Joint Genome Institute