Check the detailed description on what questions these projects are helping to answer:  ONGOING RESEARCH

PREMETAZOANEVOLUTION. Unravelling the unicellular prehistory of metazoans by functional analyses and single-cell genomics

PI: Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo

Funding: 1,967,535€

Duration: 01/05/2014 to 30/04/2019


Description: Its main goal is to push forward the two model systems developed in the previous ERC Grant to understand the unicellular-to-multicellular transition. In particular, we aim to infer, by cell biology and functional genomics, the ancestral function of genes key to multicellularity in order to understand how they were co-opted. In addition, we analyze the level of gene regulation in premetazoan lineages. Finally, we use single-cell genomics to understand the ecology, distribution and adaptation of uncultured unicellular lineages that are close relatives to animals.

Funded underERC-2012-Co
Project number616960

Funded byEuropean Research Council

Origins, diversification and diversity of metazoa, fungi and its unicellular relatives; an evolutionary and ecological approximation

PI: Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo

Funding: 484.000€

Duration: 01/01/2015 – 31/12/17


Description: The project consists on two parts. First, we will obtain the complete genome sequence of different unicellular species closely related to animals and fungi. We will then perform comparative genomics analyses to understand the transition to animal and fungal multicellularity. Moreover, we will address the real diversity of some marine metazoan phyla, as well as the diversity of unicellular opisthokonts (that is, the unicellular relatives of fungi and animals), by analyzing environmental surveys from Tara Oceans and Biomarks.


Project number: BFU2014-57779-P

Funded byMINECO

Screening marine microeukaryotes for their amenability for genetic tool development

PI: Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo

Co-PI: Elena Casacuberta

Funding: 130.015$

Duration: 01/09/2015 – 01/03/2017

Description: It aims to screen marine holozoa for transfectability. In particular, it aims to screen key marine representatives from three different holozoan lineages (filasterea, ichthyosporea and corallochytrea). It is only through the development of new model taxa that significant comparative analyses can be carried to fully understand the diversity and complexity of the eukaryotic cell, which represents the most complex cell among the three domains of life.

Project numberGBMF4973logo-light

Funded byBetty and Gordon Moore Foundation

SINGEK. Promoting SINgle cell GEnomics to explore the ecology and evolution of hidden microeuKaryotes

CoordinatorConsejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Funding: 3.889.393,2 €
Duration: 01/01/2016 – 31/12/2019

Description: Environmental microbial surveys have revealed a remarkable diversity of microeukaryotic life in most ecosystems, the majority of which had previously escaped detection. From an ecological point of view this work highlighted our ignorance of critical microbial players in natural environmental processes, including primary production, biogeochemical cycling and trophic interactions such as parasitism and grazing. Consequently, our understanding of community function is partial, limiting our ability to study environmental change. While, from an evolutionary perspective, we are missing major components of the Tree of Life giving rise to a fragmented understanding of how major cellular functions have evolved. Single cell genomics (SCG), including single cell transcriptomics, is an emerging technology that has the potential to retrieve genomic information from individual uncultured microbes recovered directly from natural environments and promises to provide new tools to investigate microeukaryotes in unparalleled detail.

The aim of this ITN is therefore to train a new generation of scientists with the highest expertise, in SCG, from the initial stages of cell sorting to genome sequencing and gene annotation, to the full exploitation of the data obtained. Such progress will allow the European research community for the first time to address critical ecological and evolutionary questions. SINGEK drives training through research by both local and network-wide activities, secondments, and workshops, and by establishing an environment that extends far beyond each partner team. This training environment also provides the transferable skills essential for successful career development.

Funded underH2020-MSCA-ITN-2015 logo_ce-en-rvb-hr
Project number675752

Funded byEuropean Commission

Visit the project's website

Check the detailed description on what questions are these projects helping to answer:  ONGOING RESEARCH