, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 1-5
Date: 31 Jan 2012

Genomics of brown algae: current advances and future prospects

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The analysis of the complete genome sequence of the filamentous brown alga Ectocarpus provided many new insights into brown algal biology and has improved our understanding of how this organism has adapted to its seashore environment. Since the publication of the genome sequence in 2010, numerous studies have continued the analysis of the constituent genes or have combined genome data with experimental work, allowing progress in several key areas, including metabolism and reproductive biology. Ectocarpus will continue to be exploited as a model organism in future years, but genomic approaches should also be extended to additional brown algal species in order to fully exploit the diversity of this phylogenetic group and to facilitate the application of new knowledge to economically important seaweeds such as kelps.