GRAToL: Assembling the Green Algal Tree of Life

This project will assemble a Tree of Life for the green algae. A minimum estimate of diversity of the group is a little more 14,000, with species distributed on all continents and across virtually every habitat type on Earth. Although recently molecular studies have revealed two major clades of green algae (marine groups and several freshwater and marine unicellular lineages in one group, and several freshwater groups plus embryophytes as the second), the relationships among major lineages within the green algae are poorly known. Moreover, within the major groups, relationships and monophyly of many traditionally defined groups are poorly resolved. Our collaborative research team will use an approach that is a hybrid of PCR-based multi-gene sequencing and next-generation sequencing methods. We will assemble a green algal tree of life by sequencing 10 genes for +400 taxa. Next-generation sequencing will be used for a subset of 16 taxa to study deep phylogenetic relationships in the green algae, find genes for detailed analysis of particular groups, and examine organellar genome evolution in the green algae. A global analysis will be used to make a reclassification for all green algae.

Click Tree of Life for Green Algae for more information

These Rhodophyta and Chlorophyta AToL projects will integrate data with other AToL projects (heterokonts, liverworts and other embryophytes) to identify core genes for broad phylogenetic analyses. These investigations will also provide a common framework for a future comprehensive eukaryotic tree.