Category Archive: News

May 24

The New Red Algal Subphylum Proteorhodophytina Comprises the Largest and Most Divergent Plastid Genomes Known.

Red algal plastid genomes are often considered ancestral and evolutionarily stable, and thus more closely resembling the last common ancestral plastid genome of all photosynthetic eukaryotes [1, 2]. However, sampling of red algal diversity is still quite limited (e.g., [2-5]). We aimed to remedy this problem. To this end, we sequenced six new plastid genomes …

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May 12

Phenylpropanoid biosynthesis origins in plant algal relatives

Great lab news! Sophie DeVries, our Killam Postdoc and her partner Jan DeVries (Archibald Lab) have just published a very nice research story in Plant & Cell Physiology. The paper is entitled “How Embryophytic is the Biosynthesis of Phenylpropanoids and their Derivatives in Streptophyte Algae?”, and sheds new light on how the earliest land plants …

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Jul 15

Dalhousie University opens Minor in Bioinformatics

Minor in bioinformatics is now available at Dalhousie University

Jul 07

Ancient homology of the mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system points to an endosymbiotic origin of mitochondrial cristae.

Related Articles

Ancient homology of the mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system points to an endosymbiotic origin of mitochondrial cristae.

Curr Biol. 2015 Jun 1;25(11):1489-95

Authors: Muñoz-Gómez SA, Slamovits CH, Dacks JB, Baier KA, Spencer KD, Wideman JG

Mitochondria are eukaryotic organelles that originated from an endosymbiotic α-proteobacterium. As an adaptation to maximize ATP production through oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondria contain inner membrane invaginations called cristae. Recent work has characterized a multi-protein complex in yeast and animal mitochondria called MICOS (mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system), responsible for the determination and maintenance of cristae [1-4]. However, the origin and evolution of these characteristic mitochondrial features remain obscure. We therefore conducted a comprehensive search for MICOS components across the major groups that encompass eukaryotic diversity to determine the extent of conservation of this complex. We detected homologs for the majority of MICOS components among opisthokonts (the group containing animals and fungi), but only Mic60 and Mic10 were consistently identified outside this group. The conservation of Mic60 and Mic10 in eukaryotes is consistent with their central role in MICOS function [5-7], indicating that the basic mechanism for cristae determination arose early in evolution and has remained relatively unchanged. We found that eukaryotes with ultrastructurally simplified anaerobic mitochondria that lack cristae have also lost MICOS. We then searched for a prokaryotic MICOS and identified a homolog of Mic60 present only in α-proteobacteria, providing evidence for the endosymbiotic origin of mitochondrial cristae. Our study clarifies the origins of mitochondrial cristae and their subsequent evolutionary history, provides evidence for a general mechanism of cristae formation and maintenance in eukaryotes, and points to a new potential factor involved in membrane differentiation in prokaryotes.

PMID: 26004762 [PubMed – in process]

May 06

Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Evidence for a Cryptic Plastid in the Colpodellid Voromonas pontica, a Close Relative of Chromerids and Apicomplexan Parasites

Colpodellids are free-living, predatory flagellates, but their close relationship to photosynthetic chromerids and plastid-bearing apicomplexan parasites suggests they were ancestrally photosynthetic. Colpodellids may therefore retain a cryptic plastid, or they may have lost their plastids entirely, like the apicomplexan Cryptosporidium. To find out, we generated transcriptomic data from Voromonas pontica ATCC 50640 and searched for homologs of genes …

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Apr 09

SEMINAR: Philosophy of Fungi

SEMINAR IN EVOLUTION AND PHILOSOPHY Austin Booth Department of Philosophy Harvard University “Evolution and the Individuality of Fungi and Holobionts” 10:30 AM, Thursday 17 April Room 3H1, Sir Charles Tupper Building College and Carleton Streets Abstract: Using a Darwinian framework, I articulate accounts of individuality in two kinds of biological systems: heterokaryotic fungi and holobionts. …

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Feb 25

Postdoctoral position in evolutionary genomics of fungi

The Corradi Lab is currently seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow in the field of Fungal Comparative and Population Genomics. The research will be led by Dr. Nicolas Corradi and carried out in a CIFAR (Canadian Institute for Advanced Research) – affiliated laboratory located in the Department of Biology of the University of Ottawa, Canada.   The …

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Feb 04

W. Ford Doolittle wins Herzberg gold medal, top Science prize in Canada

We are thrilled to congratulate our colleague Ford Doolittle for this exceptional achievement. Ford is one of the pioneers in microbial evolutionary genetics, well known for his contributions to discover and understand the importance of lateral gene transfer (LGT or HGT) in evolution. Ford coined the expression “You are what you eat” to reflect that …

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Nov 15


FACULTY POSITION IN EVOLUTIONARY GENOMICS/GENETICS DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY, SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY We seek a creative, productive evolutionary biologist with research strengths in eukaryotic genomics or genetics. We are especially interested in candidates who use innovative experimental, computational and/or comparative approaches. Research area is open to studies of all eukaryotic organisms. Candidates should have post-doctoral …

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Nov 01

Faculty Position in Genomics or Computational Biology: U of Calgary

The Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute for Child & Maternal Health invite applications for a full-time position at the Assistant Professor level in the area of Genomics or Computational Biology. Qualifications include a Ph.D. degree or equivalent, at least two years …

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