Genomic analysis of an ultrasmall freshwater green alga, Medakamo hakoo

Shoichi Kato, Osami Misumi, Shinichiro Maruyama, Hisayoshi Nozaki, Yayoi Tsujimoto-Inui, Mari Takusagawa, Shigekatsu Suzuki, Keiko Kuwata, Saki Noda, Nanami Ito, Yoji Okabe, Takuya Sakamoto, Fumi Yagisawa, Tomoko M. Matsunaga, Yoshikatsu Matsubayashi, Haruyo Yamaguchi, Masanobu Kawachi, Haruko Kuroiwa, Tsuneyoshi Kuroiwa, Sachihiro Matsunaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ultrasmall algae have attracted the attention of biologists investigating the basic mechanisms underlying living systems. Their potential as effective organisms for producing useful substances is also of interest in bioindustry. Although genomic information is indispensable for elucidating metabolism and promoting molecular breeding, many ultrasmall algae remain genetically uncharacterized. Here, we present the nuclear genome sequence of an ultrasmall green alga of freshwater habitats, Medakamo hakoo. Evolutionary analyses suggest that this species belongs to a new genus within the class Trebouxiophyceae. Sequencing analyses revealed that its genome, comprising 15.8 Mbp and 7629 genes, is among the smallest known genomes in the Viridiplantae. Its genome has relatively few genes associated with genetic information processing, basal transcription factors, and RNA transport. Comparative analyses revealed that 1263 orthogroups were shared among 15 ultrasmall algae from distinct phylogenetic lineages. The shared gene sets will enable identification of genes essential for algal metabolism and cellular functions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number89
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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