The Algal Revolution

Juliet Brodie, Cheong Xin Chan, Olivier De Clerck, J. Mark Cock, Susana M. Coelho, Claire Gachon, Arthur R. Grossman, Thomas Mock, John A. Raven, Alison G. Smith, Hwan Su Yoon, Debashish Bhattacharya (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Algae are (mostly) photosynthetic eukaryotes that occupy multiple branches of the tree of life, and are vital for planet function and health. In this review, we highlight a transformative period in studies of the evolution and functioning of this extraordinary group of organisms and their potential for novel applications, wrought by high-throughput 'omic' and reverse genetic methods. We cover the origin and diversification of algal groups, explore advances in understanding the link between phenotype and genotype, consider algal sex determination, and review progress in understanding the roots of algal multicellularity. Experimental evolution studies to determine how algae evolve in changing environments are highlighted, as is their potential as production platforms for compounds of commercial interest, such as biofuel precursors, nutraceuticals, or therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-738
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number8
Early online date10 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017
EventInto the genome: advances in the world of algal genomics: Theo Murphy scientific meeting - Kavli Royal Society Centre, Chicheley Hall, Newport Pagnell, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Jun 20169 Jun 2016


  • Archaeplastida
  • Genomics
  • Origin of multicellularity
  • Plastid endosymbiosis
  • Systems biology


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