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Seminar: Phylogenomics and comparative multi-omics illuminate the origin of land plants

This month's session of the ERGA BioGenome Analysis & Applications Seminars will focus on phylogenomics, with talks by Iker Irisarri and Maaike Bierenbroodspot. Don't miss it!

🕚 Monday, May 27th 2024 - 12:00 CEST

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Phylogenomics and comparative multi-omics illuminate the origin of land plants

Recent developments of omics techniques provide an unprecedented opportunity to understand the origin of land plants. To do so, better studying their closest algal relatives, the streptophyte algae, is essential. Phylogenomics can reconstruct a robust evolutionary framework for subsequent comparative genomics and multi-omics, but accounting for the true diversity of streptophyte algae is a necessity for realistic inferences. Recent phylogenomic studies are shedding light on cryptic diversity, the origin of multicellularity, and the colonization of terrestrial habitats. Comparative genomics identify expanded genes for signaling cascades, environmental response, and multicellular growth in the immediate algal ancestor of land plants. Coexpression analysis of transcriptomic data suggests deep evolutionary roots of the molecular chassis that balances environmental response and growth modulation across more than 600 million years of streptophyte evolution, before plants made their first steps on land. Overall, the integration of various omics techniques provides a deeper understanding of the origin and evolution of land plants.

PhyloRSeq++: A phylogenomic pipeline using transcriptomic data from start to finish

About the speakers

Iker Irisarri

Iker did his PhD at the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales in Madrid. He was a postdoc at the Universities of Konstanz (Germany), Uppsala (Sweden), and Göttingen (Germany), and at the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (Spain). Since 2022, he is a group leader at the Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Analysis and the Museum of Nature, Hamburg. He will soon join the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales as a Ramon y Cajal fellow. Iker is passionate about phylogenomics and major evolutionary transitions, particularly the conquest of terrestrial environments, which he has studied in both vertebrate animals and plants.

Maaike Bierenbroodspot

Maaike studied life sciences at Utrecht University. She pursued her master's degree in Molecular Life Sciences at the University of Göttingen, where her interests shifted from wet lab work to computational analyses. Currently, she is pursuing her PhD in the group of Prof. Jan de Vries in Göttingen, whose primary focus is to understand the molecular adaptation to land in plants. Here, she helped establish a phylogenomic pipeline using genomic and phylotranscriptomic data.


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