The Protist EST Program (PEP) is a pan-Canadian collaboration, whose objective is to determine the expressed portions of genomes from a taxonomically broad collection of mostly unicellular eukaryotes. Representatives of ~25 different protist groups are being targeted for sequencing (either ESTs or complete cDNAs). All together ~50 protists will be sampled, focusing in the initial phase on about 20 species (see listing).
The information emerging from this undertaking will be used to address various issues relating to eukaryotic diversity, classification, evolution, and the origin of the eukaryotic cell.

PEP is composed of nine subprojects, each motivated by a particular research question:

  1. Jakobid flagellates and early eukaryotic cell evolution (G. Burger, B.F. Lang, M.W. Gray)
  2. Phylogeny and function in amoeboid protozoa (M.W. Gray, A. Roger)
  3. Anaerobic protists and early eukaryote evolution (A. Roger)
  4. Origin of secondary endosymbionts and the spread of photosynthesis (P.J. Keeling)
  5. Glaucocystophyte evolution and phylogeny (B.F. Lang, G. Burger)
  6. Zooflagellate fungi, choanoflagellates and the origin of animals and fungi (B.F. Lang, G. Burger)
  7. Mitochondrial gene mutation and loss in green algae (R.W. Lee)
  8. Light stress-induced genes and the evolution of chloroplasts (D.G. Durnford)
  9. A ciliate EST project: Tetrahymena thermophila (R. Pearlman)

EST data generated by PEP are being stored and organized in the Protist EST database (PEPdb), for which a short description is available.

Financial support for PEP is provided by Genome Canada, Genome Atlantic and Genome Quebec.

[ PEP main | Evolutionary & integrative genomics at UdeM ]

Contact address: Gertraud Burger. Last Update: 14 Jan 2003.