Origin of animals and plants
A major goal in this projects is to compare the evolutionary processes that lead to multicellularity in animals and plants.
About the project
Transition from unicellular to the multicellular eukaryotes have occurred multiple times from different ancestors, and given rise to plants, animals, fungi, some multicellular amoeba forms, some red and brown algae as well as few other groups. The molecular basis for the all these transitions and the formation of the various body plans have likely involved very different components; for instance the genes involved in embyogenesis of animals seem not to have been central in formation of multicellular plants.
In this project we investigate the origin and evolution of animals and plants by phylogenomic analyses. Our approach is to use phylogeny of the opisthokonts (animals, fungi and Choanozoa) and Viridiplantae (plants and green algae) as a frame for mapping genetic and genomic changes of key components for cell adhesion and cell signaling. The two projects on animals and plants were initiated separately and involves different scientists, but a major goal is to compare the evolutionary processes that lead to multicellularity in these two lineages.
- Resolve the phylogeny of choanozoa by multi-gene phylogenies
- Mapping the change of genes involved in cell signalling and cell adhesion on the Choanozoa and early animal phylogeny
- Reveal the earliest occurrence of DAK1 among the plant lineage
- Functional characterization of DAK1 domains in algae and early plant lineages.
- Data-mining and detection of different types of kinases among the Choanozoa.