First draft of an annotated genome for a lichenised strain of the green alga Diplosphaera chodatii (Prasiolales, Trebouxiophyceae)

Gueidan C., Mead O.L., Nazem-Bokaee H. & Mathews S.
European Journal of Phycology
58(4): 427-437
Although genome sequences of lichenized fungi are increasingly becoming available, genome sequences of microalgae involved in the lichen symbiosis are still scarce. For lichenized eukaryotic algae, genome sequencing has focused mostly on Trebouxia and Asterochloris, with little genomic data available for Stichococcus-like algae, such as Diplosphaera. The genus Diplosphaera is a common component of biological soil crusts, and often occurs associated with lichens of the family Verrucariaceae. It is characterized by cylindrical to spherical cells containing a plate-like chloroplast, and more specifically by a vegetative cell division that leads to the formation of typical two- to four-celled clusters. Here, we present a draft genome sequence for the algal partner of an Australian lichen specimen of Endocarpon pusillum. The genome was sequenced with Pac Bio long read and Illumina short read technologies, and transcriptome data were generated to inform the structural annotations. This algal strain is here identified as Diplosphaera chodatii based on nuSSU and ITS data. Compared with closely related lichenized and non-lichenized algae, the genome of D. chodatii stands out for its large size (85.6 Mb) and gene content (21,261 protein-encoding regions), as well as its high rate of duplicated genes (60% of the BUSCO genes are duplicated). These results suggest that whole genome duplication or large-scale segmental duplications may have occurred in the evolutionary history of this algal species.
Thursday, 16 May 2024 16:53