What’s on : Lectures

Life in hot acid: the alga Galdieria

8 Feb 2022
Start time
7:30 PM
Professor Seth Davis, University of York
Life in hot acid: the alga Galdieria

Event Information

Life in hot acid: the alga Galdieria
Professor Seth Davis, Department of Biology, University of York

Galdieria species are extremophilic microalgae with amazing diversity of metabolism, essentially unparalleled in the eukaryotic kingdom. Galdieria thrives to acidic pH = 0 and 56˚C, the limits of eukaryotic life, can grow as an autotroph performing photosynthesis in the light and as a heterotroph in the dark by consuming essentially any sugar or other carbon source. Galdieria originates from fumarole vents that emit sulphur gases, which are companions to volcanic activity. These algae are also colonisers of human-made waste sites that are acidic and loaded with toxins, such as in acid-mine drainage. Galdieria can remediate contaminants under high concentrations of toxic metals and thus are targets for bespoke bio-mining applications for precious metal and rare-earth metal accumulation. Full genome sequencing serves as a start to explore the mechanisms of all these strange biological features that defines it metabolic diversity. In this the nuclear and organellar genomes of Galdieria are now completed using long-read sequencing, and this technology will be explained. The genomics of Galdieria should explain how it responds rapidly to adaptive shifts in extreme environments to support a eukaryotic extremophilic life.

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