Genome evolution in dinoflagellates

Dinoflagellates have very large genomes. So much that the smallest dinoflagellates genomes recorded are about as large as the human genome, whereas the largest are almost 10 times bigger! We don’t know much about them. Not even how many genes or how they are arranged or regulated. Moreover, the way in which DNA is packaged and organised into chromosomes appears to be different than in the rest of eukaryotes. Our goal is to understand better the composition, organization and evolution of these enigmatic genomes.

We use the dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina as our pet model to approach some of these questions but also make use of molecular data from many other species for comparative analysis.