The Protist EST Program
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
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
- Jakobid flagellates and early eukaryotic cell evolution (G. Burger, B.F. Lang,
- Phylogeny and function in amoeboid protozoa
(M.W. Gray, A. Roger)
- Anaerobic protists and early eukaryote evolution (A. Roger)
- Origin of secondary endosymbionts and the spread of photosynthesis
- Glaucocystophyte evolution and phylogeny (B.F. Lang, G. Burger)
- Zooflagellate fungi, choanoflagellates and the origin of
animals and fungi (B.F. Lang, G. Burger)
- Mitochondrial gene mutation and loss in green algae (R.W.
- Light stress-induced genes and the evolution of chloroplasts
- A ciliate EST project: Tetrahymena thermophila (R.
EST data generated by PEP are being stored and organized in the
Protist EST database (PEPdb),
for which a short description is available.