German and American scientists sequence tropical marine organism genome
May 11, 2011
German and American researchers have successfully sequenced the genome of Lyngbya majuscula (L. majuscula), a tropical marine organism able to generate substances that can be used in the treatment of human disorders including neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. The study is presented in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Filamentous cyanobacteria of the genus Lyngbya play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle; coral reef ecosystems benefit from their activity, as they can form dominant covers and affect the health of other co-occurring organisms. It should be noted, however, that when these strains upset healthy coral reef growth, they cause a skin rash problem that experts call 'swimmer's itch'.