Genomics of Algal Pigment Biosynthesis

During the last decade, we have been involved in the analysis and annotation of various algal genomes. While our main focus has been on identifying candidate genes involved in the biosynthesis of carotenoids, the analyses also included genes involved in the formation of other isoprenoids such as sterols and of tetrapyrroles, namely chlorophylls and hemes.

By comparing genomic and transcriptomic data from land plants and a broad spectrum of algae, we found that algal genomes often contain multiple candidate genes for a certain biosynthetic step which have emerged by gene duplications. In an ongoing effort to elucidate the biological roles of these paralogs, we are cloning promising genes and aim for their functional characterization by various methods such as heterologous expression and in vitro assays.

Related publications:
Merchant et al. (2007), Palenik et al. (2007), Rensing et al. (2008), Frommolt et al. (2008), Cock et al. (2010), Lohr (2011), Lohr et al. (2012), Sasso et al. (2012), Cock et al. (2012), Chan et al. (2012), Brawley et al. (2017)