Ectocarpus is a filamentous brown alga that is found in temperate coastal regions worldwide. This alga was proposed as a genetic and genomic model organism for the brown algae in 20041. The choice of Ectocarpus was based both on the small size of its genome, compared with those of other brown algae, and on a number of features that make it well adapted for genetic approaches, including its small size and its relatively short life cycle (about 3 months). A number of tools have been developed for Ectocarpus, including a complete genome sequence2, extensive transcriptomic data3, a large collection of strains and mutant lines and diverse protocols, for example for classical genetic techniques and mutant screens4. Ectocarpus is currently being used to study a broad range of aspects of brown algal biology including life cycle regulation, sex determination, morphogenesis, ecology and population genetics, resistance to biotic and abiotic stress and cell wall metabolism (3,5-8).
|Transcriptome||microArray, tiling array|
Link to strain database
Complete genome sequence
Extensive transcriptome data (Sanger ESTs, RNA-seq data, small RNA sequence data//, EST-based mircoarray data, //whole genome tiling array data)
Genetic map and genetic markers
Classical genetic methods (crosses, segregating families)
Mutagenesis protocols and mutant screen methodologies
Proteomic and metabolomic methodologies
Bioinformatic tools (Hectar)
A large strain collection (diverse field-isolated and laboratory-constructed strains) and a cryopreservation protocol
Genetic crosses between Ectocarpus strains. Coelho SM, Scornet D, Rousvoal S, Peters N, Dartevelle L, Peters AF, Cock JM.Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2012 Feb 1;2012(2):262-5. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot067942.
Extraction of high-quality genomic DNA from Ectocarpus. Coelho SM, Scornet D, Rousvoal S, Peters N, Dartevelle L, Peters AF, Cock JM. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2012 Mar 1;2012(3):365-8. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot067967.
Immunostaining of Ectocarpus cells. Coelho SM, Scornet D, Rousvoal S, Peters N, Dartevelle L, Peters AF, Cock JM.Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2012 Mar 1;2012(3):369-72. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot067975.
Isolation and regeneration of protoplasts from Ectocarpus. Coelho SM, Scornet D, Rousvoal S, Peters N, Dartevelle L, Peters AF, Cock JM.Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2012 Mar 1;2012(3):361-4. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot067959.
How to cultivate Ectocarpus. Coelho SM, Scornet D, Rousvoal S, Peters NT, Dartevelle L, Peters AF, Cock JM.Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2012 Feb 1;2012(2):258-61. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot067934.
Peters, A. F., Marie, D., Scornet, D., Kloareg, B. & Cock, J. M. (2004) Proposal of Ectocarpus siliculosus (Ectocarpales, Phaeophyceae) as a model organism for brown algal genetics and genomics. J Phycol, 40, 1079-1088.
Cock, J. et al. (2010) The Ectocarpus genome and the independent evolution of multicellularity in brown algae. Nature, 465, 617-621.
Dittami, S. et al. (2009) Global expression analysis of the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus (Phaeophyceae) reveals large-scale reprogramming of the transcriptome in response to abiotic stress. Genome Biol, 10, R66.
Coelho, S. M. et al. (2012) Ectocarpus: A model organism for the brown algae. Cold Spring Harbor Protoc, 2012, 193-198.
Peters, A. F. et al. (2008) Life-cycle-generation-specific developmental processes are modified in the immediate upright mutant of the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus. Development, 135, 1503-1512.
Coelho, S. M. et al. (2011) OUROBOROS is a master regulator of the gametophyte to sporophyte life cycle transition in the brown alga Ectocarpus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 108, 11518-11523.
Le Bail, A., Billoud, B., Le Panse, S., Chenivesse, S. & Charrier, B. (2011) ETOILE Regulates Developmental Patterning in the Filamentous Brown Alga Ectocarpus siliculosus. Plant Cell, 23, 1666-1678.
Michel, G., Tonon, T., Scornet, D., Cock, J. M. & Kloareg, B. (2010) The cell wall polysaccharide metabolism of the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus. Insights into the evolution of extracellular matrix polysaccharides in eukaryotes. New Phytol, 188, 82-97.
J. Mark Cock, Algal Genetics Group, UMR 8227 CNRS-UPMC, Station Biologique, Place Georges Teissier, CS 90074, 29688 Roscoff, France