Diversity Evolution

Plankton at the surface of the oceans includes a considerable diversity of bacterial, archaeal and unicellular eukaryotic cells along with their infecting viruses. Most of these microbial lineages have no representatives in culture collections and have yet to be properly placed in the tree of life.  Our lab takes advantage of culture-independent DNA and RNA sequencing methods, largely through the prominent Tara Oceans projects, to explore the genomic diversity of plankton at large-scale. We combine state-of-the-art genome-resolved metagenomic and phylogenomic approaches to characterize the genomic content of the most abundant marine microbial lineages (from symbiotic bacteria to unknown eukaryotic species and entire new clades of viruses) and expose new branches in the tree of life relevant to our understanding of the ecology and evolution of plankton.