Acta Oceanologica Sinica

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Transcriptome sequencing of essential marine brown and red algal species in China and its significance in algal biology and phylogeny

  • Shuangxiu Wu
  • Jing Sun
  • Shan Chi
  • Liang Wang
  • Xumin Wang
  • Cui Liu
  • Xingang Li
  • Jinlong Yin
  • Tao LiuEmail author
  • Jun Yu


Most phaeophytes (brown algae) and rhodophytes (red algae) dwell exclusively in marine habitats and play important roles in marine ecology and biodiversity. Many of these brown and red algae are also important resources for industries such as food, medicine and materials due to their unique metabolisms and metabolites. However, many fundamental questions surrounding their origins, early diversification, taxonomy, and special metabolisms remain unsolved because of poor molecular bases in brown and red algal study. As part of the 1 000 Plant Project, the marine macroalgal transcriptomes of 19 Phaeophyceae species and 21 Rhodophyta species from China’s coast were sequenced, covering a total of 2 phyla, 3 classes, 11 orders, and 19 families. An average of 2 Gb per sample and a total 87.3 Gb of RNA-seq raw data were generated. Approximately 15 000 to 25 000 unigenes for each brown algal sample and 5 000 to 10 000 unigenes for each red algal sample were annotated and analyzed. The annotation results showed obvious differences in gene expression and genome characteristics between red algae and brown algae; these differences could even be seen between multicellular and unicellular red algae. The results elucidate some fundamental questions about the phylogenetic taxonomy within phaeophytes and rhodophytes, and also reveal many novel metabolic pathways. These pathways include algal CO2 fixation and particular carbohydrate metabolisms, and related gene/gene family characteristics and evolution in brown and red algae. These findings build on known algal genetic information and significantly improve our understanding of algal biology, biodiversity, evolution, and potential utilization of these marine algae.

Key words

Phaeophyceae brown algae Rhodophyta red algae marine macroalgae transcriptome sequencing secondary generation sequencing 


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Oceanography and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shuangxiu Wu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jing Sun
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Shan Chi
    • 2
  • Liang Wang
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Xumin Wang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Cui Liu
    • 2
  • Xingang Li
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jinlong Yin
    • 1
  • Tao Liu
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jun Yu
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Genome Sciences and Information, Beijing Key Laboratory of Genome and Precision Medicine Technologies, Beijing Institute of GenomicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Marine Life ScienceOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina
  3. 3.Beijing Key Laboratory of Functional Genomics for Dao-di Herbs, Beijing Institute of GenomicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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