Algae cover picture presenting:
Phylogenomics and its Growing Impact on Algal Phylogeny and Evolution
by Adrian Reyes-Prieto, Hwan Su Yoon and Debashish Bhattacharya.
Algae Volume 21(1): 1-10, 2006
Link to PDF version of the paper
Genomic data is accumulating in public database at an unprecedented rate. Although presently dominated by the sequences of metazoan, plant, parasitic, and picoeukaryotic taxa, both expressed sequence tag (EST) and complete genomes of free-living algae are also slowly appearing. This wealth of information offers the opportunity to clarify many long-standing issues in algal and plant evolution such as the contribution of the plastid endosymbiont to nuclear genome evolution using the tools of comparative genomics and multi-gene phylogenetics. A particularly powerful approach for the automated analysis of genome data from multiple taxa is termed phylogenomics. Phylogenomics is the convergence of genomics science (the study of the function and structure of genes and genomes) and molecular phylogenetics (the study of the hierarchical evolutionary relationships among organisms, their genes and genomes). The use of phylogenetics to drive comparative genome analyses has facilitated the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of genes, gene families, and organisms. Here we survey the available genome data, introduce phylogenomic pipelines, and review some initial results of phylogenomic analyses of algal genome data.