The genome of Prasinoderma coloniale unveils the existence of a third phylum within green plants

Linzhou Li, Sibo Wang, Hongli Wang, Sunil Kumar Sahu, Birger Marin, Haoyuan Li, Yan Xu, Hongping Liang, Zhen Li, Shifeng Cheng, Tanja Reder, Zehra Çebi, Sebastian Wittek, Morten Petersen, Barbara Melkonian, Hongli Du, Huanming Yang, Jian Wang, Gane Ka Shu Wong, Xun XuXin Liu, Yves Van de Peer, Michael Melkonian*, Huan Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Genome analysis of the pico-eukaryotic marine green alga Prasinoderma coloniale CCMP 1413 unveils the existence of a novel phylum within green plants (Viridiplantae), the Prasinodermophyta, which diverged before the split of Chlorophyta and Streptophyta. Structural features of the genome and gene family comparisons revealed an intermediate position of the P. coloniale genome (25.3 Mb) between the extremely compact, small genomes of picoplanktonic Mamiellophyceae (Chlorophyta) and the larger, more complex genomes of early-diverging streptophyte algae. Reconstruction of the minimal core genome of Viridiplantae allowed identification of an ancestral toolkit of transcription factors and flagellar proteins. Adaptations of P. coloniale to its deep-water, oligotrophic environment involved expansion of light-harvesting proteins, reduction of early light-induced proteins, evolution of a distinct type of C4 photosynthesis and carbon-concentrating mechanism, synthesis of the metal-complexing metabolite picolinic acid, and vitamin B1, B7 and B12 auxotrophy. The P. coloniale genome provides first insights into the dawn of green plant evolution.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Ecology & Evolution
Pages (from-to)1220-1231
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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