Image of trees, hills in Yosemite.

The Green Algae Tree of Life

Kenneth G. Karol and collaborators

The Green Algae Tree of Life (GrAToL) is a project involving the collaboration of five institutions to understand the evolutionary relationships of all of the major groups of green algae, a diverse group of more than 14,000 photosynthetic species worldwide. Green algae are abundant and play important roles in a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic habitats, including deserts, extremely salty ponds, and coral reefs, and several species are symbiotic partners with lichens and animals. Thus, green algae are important primary producers in most ecosystems. Green algae are diverse in form – from microscopic single cells to large seaweeds – and function as important primary producers in most ecosystems. This project is using DNA sequence data to assemble a tree of life reflecting the evolutionary history of all major green algal lineages. Thistree is critical for an improved classification of known species of algae as well as species that are yet to be discovered. This project is also facilitating further studies of green algae genomics and evolution.

More information: GrAToL: Assembling the Green Algal Tree of Life