Monodopsis and Vischeria genomes shed new light on the biology of eustigmatophyte algae

Hsiao-Pei Yang, Marius Wenzel, Duncan A Hauser, Jessica M Nelson, Xia Xu, Marek Eliáš, Fay-Wei Li* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Members of eustigmatophyte algae, especially Nannochloropsis and Microchloropsis, have been tapped for biofuel production owing to their exceptionally high lipid content. While extensive genomic, transcriptomic, and synthetic biology toolkits have been made available for Nannochloropsis, very little is known about other eustigmatophytes. Here we present three near-chromosomal and gapless genome assemblies of Monodopsis strains C73 and C141 (60 Mb) and Vischeria strain C74 (106 Mb), which are the sister groups to Nannochloropsis and Microchloropsis in the order Eustigmatales. These genomes contain unusually high percentages of simple repeats, ranging from 12\1\ LINE repeats are abundant in Monodopsis and Vischeria and might constitute the centromeric regions. We found that both mevalonate and non-mevalonate pathways for terpenoid biosynthesis are present in Monodopsis and Vischeria, which is different from Nannochloropsis and Microchloropsis that have only the latter. Our analysis further revealed extensive spliced leader trans-splicing in Monodopsis and Vischeria at 36-61\ the high-quality genomes of Monodopsis and Vischeria not only serve as the much-needed outgroups to advance Nannochloropsis and Microchloropsis research, but also shed new light on the biology and evolution of eustigmatophyte algae.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberevab233
Number of pages12
JournalGenome biology and evolution
Issue number11
Early online date19 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

This study was supported by the National Science Foundation Dimensions of Biodiversity grant (1831428) to F.-W.L., and the Czech Science Foundation grant 20-27648S to M.E. We thank the reviewers and editor for their thoughtful comments

Data Availability Statement

The nanopore and Illumina sequencing reads were deposited in NCBI SRA under the BioProject PRJNA730568. The nuclear genome assemblies and annotations are available through NanDeSyn data portal (Gong et al. 2020) and


  • Nannochloropsis
  • spliced leader trans-splicing
  • simple sequence repeats
  • LINE
  • Stramenopiles


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