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Contact Information:
Department of
Biological Sciences
120 Flagg Road,
University of Rhode Island
Kingston, RI 02881 - 0816.
Phone: (401) 874-2373.
Fax: (401) 874-2065.
Chris Lane
Job Title: Assistant Professor (Algal genome evolution and reduction)
Address: CBLS 277,
Phone: (401) 874-2683
  • B.Sc. (Biology), 1999, Trinity College, Hartford, Ct.
  • Ph.D. (Biology), 2004, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada
Research Interests

My lab focuses on the evolution of algae from a molecular, ecological and phylogenetic context, and in particular the mechanisms and consequences of genome reduction and gene transfer. Algae are fascinating subjects because they have adapted to exploit a variety of niches and habitats (marine, freshwater, snow, hot springs and almost anywhere moisture persists) and employ an array of life-history strategies (e.g., free-living, symbiotic and parasitic). Of interest to us are the algae that have taken on a parasitic lifestyle, and specifically, how this strategy affects the organism over evolutionary time.

Red algal parasites are unusual because they tend to be parasites of the species most closely related to them – like that cousin who you can’t get to stop sleeping on your couch or eating food in your fridge. However, we can take advantage of this close relationship between parasite and host to make direct comparisons between two species that share a common recent ancestor, but use fundamentally different life history strategies. Using genome sequence data we are elucidating the genomic consequence of becoming a parasite and the process by which organisms become obligately parasitic. Additionally, we are examining gene expression patterns of both infected and non-infected host tissue to gain insight into how the host reacts to parasite attack. More information on my lab will be available shortly.

Please visit the lab site at:

  1. Lane, C. E. & J. M. Archibald. 2008. New members of the genus Hemiselmis (Cryptomonadales, Cryptophyceae). Journal of Phycology. 44:439-450.
  2. Lane, C. E. & J. M. Archibald. 2008. The eukaryotic Tree of Life: endosymbiosis takes its TOL. Trends in Ecology and Evolution.23:268-275.
  3. Lane, C. E., S. Lindstrom & G. W. Saunders. 2007. A molecular assessment of northeast Pacific Alaria species (Laminariales, Phaeophyceae) with reference to the utility of DNA barcoding. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 44:634-648.
  4. C. W. Schneider & C. E. Lane. 2007. Notes on the marine algae of the Bermudas. 8. Further additions to the flora including Griffithsia aestivana sp. nov. (Ceramiaceae, Rhodophyta) and an update on the alien Cystoseira compressa (Sargassaceae, Heterokontophyta). Botanica Marina. 50:128-140.
  5. Lane, C. E. 2007. Bacterial endosymbionts: Genome reduction in a hot spot. Current Biology. 17:R508-R510.
  6. Lane, C. E., K. S. van den Heuvel, C. Kozera, B. Curtis, B. Parsons, S. Bowman & J. M. Archibald. 2007. Nucleomorph genome of Hemiselmis andersenii reveals complete intron loss and compaction as a driver of protein structure and function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 104:19908-19913.
  7. Lane, C. E. & J. M. Archibald. 2006. Novel Nucleomorph Genome Architecture in the Cryptomonad Genus Hemiselmis. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. 53:515-521.
  8. Lane, C. E., H. Khan, M. MacKinnon, A. Fong, S. Theophilou & J. M. Archibald. 2006. Insight into the diversity and evolution of the cryptomonad nucleomorph genome. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 23:856-865.
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