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Journal Article

Genetic regulation of life cycle transitions in the brown alga Ectocarpus

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Coelho, S., Godfroy, O., Arun, A., Le Corguillé, G., Peters, A., & Cock, J. (2011). Genetic regulation of life cycle transitions in the brown alga Ectocarpus. Plant Signaling & Behavior, 6(11), 1858-1860. doi:10.4161/psb.6.11.17737.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000C-7C61-C
The life cycle of an organism is one of its most elemental features, underpinning a broad range of phenomena including developmental processes, reproductive fitness, mode of dispersal and adaptation to the local environment. Life cycle modification may have played an important role during the evolution of several eukaryotic groups, including the terrestrial plants. Brown algae are potentially interesting models to study life cycle evolution because this group exhibits a broad range of different life cycles. Currently, life cycle studies are focused on the emerging brown algal model Ectocarpus. Two life cycle mutants have been described in this species, both of which cause the sporophyte generation to exhibit gametophyte characteristics. The ouroboros mutation is particularly interesting because it induces complete conversion of the sporophyte generation into a functional, gamete-producing gametophyte, a class of mutation that has not been described so far in other systems. Analysis of Ectocarpus life cycle mutants is providing insights into several life-cycle-related processes including parthenogenesis, symmetric/asymmetric initial cell divisions and sex determination.