Elias Lab - Genomics of Protists (the more interesting eukaryotes)

Despite the spectacular complexity and variety of multicellular bodies of animal, plants or some fungi, these groups encompass only a small fraction of the actual structural and functional diversity at the cellular level. Eukaryotes other than animals, plants and fungi are usually called the protists and it is this vastly heterogeneous group (a non-monophyletic grade in the phylogenetic parlance) that comprises most of the cellular diversity, including the extremes such as the most simplified or the most complex eukaryotic cells or an array of "meta-eukaryotes" resulting from cellular endosymbiosis in a "Russian doll" manner. Advances in genomics, especially the progress in DNA sequencing technologies, now enables to apply comparative genomics approaches to study the diversity and evolution of the eukaryotic cell at the widest phylogenetic scale.

The Elias lab has been involved in several genome-sequencing projects targeting phylogenetically interesting eukaryotes. We are honoured to collaborate with our colleagues and friends on reading and interpreting the genome sequences of the following pets:

Andalucia godoyi – a bacteriovorous flagellate from soil, represents a deep lineage of the eukaryotic phylum Jakobida. The genome is being sequences and analysed in collaboration with B. Franz Lang (University of Montreal, Canada), Česmír Vlček (Institute of Molecular Genetics, Czech Academy of Science, Prague), and Andrew Roger (Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada). If you wish to learn more about the current status of the project and possible contribution to analyses of the genome sequences, send an e-mail to Marek Elias.