Director: Susana Coelho
Assistant: Heike Heth
Email: office_coelho(at)tuebingen.mpg.de
Phone: +49 7071 601-1309
Fax: +49 7071 601-1308


Staff: Alphabetical List
References: Publication List

Our research focuses on the origin, evolution, and regulation of sexual systems diversity and on the molecular and evolutionary mechanisms that underlie the complex developmental patterns and reproductive features in brown algae. Brown algae have been evolving independently of animals and land plants for more than a billion years. During that time, they have become the third most developmentally complex lineage on the planet. They also exhibit a fascinating range of types of sexual life cycles and sex determination systems. This extraordinary group of eukaryotes is expected to provide fundamental insights into the processes underlying the evolution of complex multicellular life.

Research Overview

Origin and evolution of sexual systems

Sex determination systems are bewilderingly diverse and have had rapid transition rates during evolution. Their intriguing evolutionary dynamics raises important, still unanswered questions.

Evolution of development and multicellularity

Brown algae are one of only few eukaryotic groups to have independently evolved complex multicellularity. We study model brown algae to understand how developmental patterns are regulated during sexual life cycles and how they evolve.

 

Evolution of development and multicellularity

Brown algae are one of only few eukaryotic groups to have independently evolved complex multicellularity. We study model brown algae to understand how developmental patterns are regulated during sexual life cycles and how they evolve.

Reproductive isolation and speciation in brown algae (Lipinska Group)

Studies of reproductive isolation hold the key to understanding how new species are formed. We focus on how barriers between diverging species act after fertilization and try to characterize the specific role of sex chromosomes in this process.

 

Developmental Epigenomics in Red Algae (Borg Group)

The molecular control of cellular differentiation and development in marine algae is largely unexplored. Our group aims to address this by understanding how the epigenome influences the complex life history and reproductive cycle in red algae.

 

Selected References

Mueller D, Gaschet E, Godfroy O, Gueno J, Cossard G, Kunert M, Peters AF, Westermayer R, Boland, W, Cock JM, Lipinska A, Coelho SM (2021). A partially sex-reversed giant kelp sheds light into the mechanisms of sexual differentiation in a UV sexual system. New Phytologist, in press

Bourdareau S, Tirichine L, Lombard B, Loew D, Scornet D, Coelho SM, Cock JM (2020) Histone modifications during the life cycle of the brown alga Ectocarpus. Genome Biology 22, 12 https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-020-02216-8

Lipinska AP, Serrano-Serrano M., Cormier A., Peters AF, Kogame K, Cock JM, Coelho SM (2019). Rapid turnover of life-cycle-related genes in the brown algae Genome Biology 20(1):35

Arun A, Coelho SM, Peters AF, Bourdareau S, Pérès L, Scornet D, Strittmatter M, Lipinska AP, Yao H, Godfroy O, Montecinos O, Avia O, Macaisne N, Troadec C, Bendahmane A, Cock JM. (2018) Convergent recruitment of life cycle regulators to direct sporophyte development in two eukaryotic supergroups. eLife doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/460436

Lipinska AP, Toda NRT, Heesch S, Peters AF, Cock JM, Coelho SM. 2017. Multiple gene movements into and out of haploid sex chromosomes. Genome Biology 18:104.