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 Publications

Cossard GG, Godfroy O, Nehr Z, et al. Selection drives convergent gene expression changes during transitions to co-sexuality in haploid sexual systems [published online ahead of print, 2022 Mar 21]. Nat Ecol Evol. 2022;10.1038/s41559-022-01692-4. doi:10.1038/s41559-022-01692-4, PubMed preprint bioRxiv 2021.07.05.451104

Gueno J, Bourdareau S, Cossard G, Godfroy O, Lipinska A, Tirichine L, Cock JM, Coelho SM. Chromatin landscape associated with sexual differentiation in a UV sex determination system, Nucleic Acids Research, 2022; gkac145, https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkac145) preprint bioRxiv 2020.10.29.359190

Müller DG, Gaschet E, Godfroy O, et al. A partially sex-reversed giant kelp sheds light into the mechanisms of sexual differentiation in a UV sexual system. New Phytol. 2021;232(1):252-263. doi:10.1111/nph.17582 PubMed

Bourdareau S, Tirichine L, Lombard B, et al. Histone modifications during the life cycle of the brown alga Ectocarpus. Genome Biol. 2021;22(1):12. Published 2021 Jan 4. doi:10.1186/s13059-020-02216-8 PubMed

Hatchett WJ, Jueterbock A, Kopp M, Coyer JA, Coelho SM, Hoarau G, Lipinska AP.  Evolutionary dynamics of sex-biased gene expression in a young XY system: Insights from the brown alga genus Fucus. bioRxiv 2021, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.08.12.455804.

Lipinska AP, Serrano-Serrano ML, Cormier A, et al. Rapid turnover of life-cycle-related genes in the brown algae [published correction appears in Genome Biol. 2019 Feb 22;20(1):44]. Genome Biol. 2019;20(1):35. Published 2019 Feb 14. doi:10.1186/s13059-019-1630-6 PubMed

Arun A, Coelho SM, Peters AF, et al. Convergent recruitment of TALE homeodomain life cycle regulators to direct sporophyte development in land plants and brown algae. Elife. 2019;8:e43101. Published 2019 Jan 15. doi:10.7554/eLife.43101 PubMed

Lipinska AP, Toda NRT, Heesch S, Peters AF, Cock JM, Coelho SM. Multiple gene movements into and out of haploid sex chromosomes. Genome Biol. 2017;18(1):104. Published 2017 Jun 8. doi:10.1186/s13059-017-1201-7 PubMed