Red Algae genome research featured by DOE Office of Science

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science featured UMaine research on the genome of the red algae, Porphyra umbilicalis. The 50-member research team, led by UMaine professor of marine sciences Susan Brawley, sequenced the genome of the red alga to better understand how it harvests light and nutrients, and how warming oceans might impact its ability to fix carbon. Porphyra umbilicalis lives in the ocean’s intertidal zone, a stressful environment characterized by pounding waves, intense sun exposure and constant wetting and drying from the tides. The researchers found a number of new adaptations the alga has developed to be able to thrive despite the harsh intertidal environment. The research was also featured on the DOE’s Newswise site.