NSF Red Algal Tree of Life (RedToL).

RedToL is the National Science Foundation-funded Tree of Life Initiative to reconstruct the Red Algal (Rhodophyta) Tree of Life using phylogenetic and genomic approaches. The main RedToL website is hosted in Debashish Bhattacharya's Lab at Rutgers University. 

Red algae (Rhodophyta) are important aquatic primary producers that are one of the most anciently diverged eukaryotic phyla. The red algal plastid is widespread in the Tree of Life (ToL) among chromalveolates. In spite of its obvious importance, the Rhodophyta is under-studied. To fill this gap in eukaryote phylogeny, a research team of eight red algal taxonomy and genomics experts was assembled to address fundamental questions of red algal evolution and their place in the ToL. To accomplish the aims of RedToL, the RedToL Team will: 

1) reconstruct a robust phylogeny of 471 red algal species using a concatenated dataset of 2 nuclear, 4 plastid, and 2 mitochondrial encoded gene markers, 

2) sequence plastid genomes and generate transcriptome or genome databases for 16 key taxa that represent the phylogenetic (e.g., class- and order-level) breadth of red algae, and 

3) make freely available red algal multi-gene and genome data via release to GenBank and a web site.

The Research Team includes:
Hwan Su Yoon (Lead PI), Bigelow Lab for Ocean Sciences 
Debashish Bhattacharya (Co−PI), Rutgers University 
Sung Min Boo (Co−PI), Chungnam National University 
Suzanne Fredericq (Co-PI), Univ. Louisiana at Lafayette 
Max Hommersand (Co−PI) , UNC-Chapel Hill
Juan Lopez−Bautista (Co−PI), University of Alabama
Gary Saunders (Co−PI), University of New Brunswick 
Morgan L. Vis (Co−PI), Ohio University

The Fredericq Lab, along with the Lopez-Bautista and Hommersand Labs, is responsible for the red algal orders Plocamiales, Halymeniales, Gracilariales and Nemastomatales.

The video clips on the right comprise a 4-part series showing NSF REU  (Research Experience for Undergraduates) student Shana Callais doing research on red algae in the summer of 2010 in Fredericq's lab during which she was funded by an REU supplement on the RedToL grant. This video clip follows Shana as she learns molecular systematics techniques and phylogenetic concepts relevant to the Red Algal Tree of Life project from Natalia Arakaki, Ph.D. Candidate in Fredericq's lab. The clips focuses on taxon selection, DNA extraction, PCR, rbcL sequencing, sequence alignment, phylogenetic analysis, and databasing using red algal species in the family Halymeniaceae. 

dept. biology, university of louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette LA 70504-3601;  tel: 337/482-1291 & 482-5057