Louise A. Lewis
office: 200 Pharmacy/Biology Building
voice: +1 860-486-6723
fax: +1 860-486-6364
Desert Algae: Diversity and Physiology
Most species of green algae occur in aquatic or marine habitats, but there are many diverse green algae that live in terrestrial habitats such desert microbiotic crust communities. My work in North American and South African arid habitats reveals that desert green algae have multiple evolutionary origins. I use traditional and molecular techniques to understand the diversity of desert green algae, and am interested in the physiological adaptations that allow these algae to survive under extreme conditions (e.g., desiccation, high light).
- Biotic Crust Project - A web site and relational database designed initially to disseminate results of an NSF-funded (Biotic Systems and Inventories) project to document the diversity of green algae, cyanobacteria, lichens and bryophytes of the desert crust communities of the western United States. Now, additional projects are being served at this site.
- Cardon, Z.G., D.W. Gray and L.A. Lewis (2008) The green algal underground – evolutionary secrets of desert cells. BioScience 58: 114-122.
- Gray, D. W., Z. G. Cardon and L. A. Lewis (2007) Photosynthetic recovery following desiccation of desert green algae (Chlorophyta) and their aquatic relatives. Plant Cell and Environment 30: 1240-1255.
- Lewis, L. A. and P. O. Lewis (2005) Unearthing the molecular phylodiversity of desert soil green algae (Chlorophyta). Systematic Biology 54: 936-947. Helpful link to computing phylodiversity measures discussed in this paper.
- Lewis, L. A., and V. R. Flechtner (2004) Cryptic species of Scenedesmus (Chlorophyta) from desert soil communities of western North America. Journal of Phycology 40: 1127-1137.
Evolution of green algae and basal green plants
I also am interested in morphological evolution within chlorophyceaen green algae, and have used molecular and morphological data to resolve the relationship among major groups of green algae and early-diverging land plants.
- Lewis, L. A. (2007) Chlorophyta on land. Independent lineages of green eukaryotes from arid lands. In: J. Seckbach (ed.) Extremophilic Algae, Cyanobacteria and non-photosynthetic Protists: From Prokaryotes to Astrobiology. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.
- McManus, H. A. and L. A. Lewis (2005) Systematics, morphological variation and implications for colony-form evolution in the family Hydrodictyaceae (Sphaeropleales, Chlorophyta). Phycologia 44: 582-595.
- Lewis, L. A. and R. M. McCourt (2004) Green algae and the origin of land plants. American Journal of Botany 91: 1535-1556.
- Shoup, S. and L. A. Lewis (2003) Polyphyletic origin of parallel basal bodies in swimming cells of chlorophycean green algae (Chlorophyta). Journal of Phycology 39: 789-796.
- Lewis, L. A., B. D. Mishler and R. Vilgalys (1997) Phylogenetic relationships of the liverworts (Hepaticae), a basal embryophyte lineage, inferred from nucleotide sequence data of the chloroplast gene, rbcL. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 7: 377-393.
- Mishler, B. M., L. A. Lewis, M. A. Buchheim, K. S. Renzaglia, D. J. Garbary, C. F. Delwiche, F. W. Zechman, T. S. Kantz and R. L. Chapman (1994) Phylogenetic relationships of the "green algae" and "bryophytes". Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 81: 451-483.
Symbiotic green algae
Unicellular green algae form symbioses with marine invertebrates, ciliates, fungi, and even flowering plants. In collaboration with Gisele Muller-Parker (Western Washington State University) I have worked on the small green alga that occur with the sea anemones Anthopleura elegantissima. Ph.D. student Molly Letsch is following up on this project in two anemone species, and across their geographic ranges.
- Lewis, L. A. and G. Muller-Parker (2004) Phylogenetic placement of "Zoochlorellae" (Chlorophyta), algal symbiont of the temperate anemone Anthopleura elegantissima. Biological Bulletin 207: 87-92.
- Letsch, M.R., G. Muller-Parker, T. Friedl, and L.A. Lewis (In Review) Elliptochloris marina n.sp. (Trebouxiophyceae, Chlorophyta), green symbiont of Anthopleura xanthogrammica and A. elegantissima (Anthozoa, Cnidaria), Submitted to Journal of Phycology.
- Haugen, P., D. Bhattacharya, J.D. Palmer, S. Turner, L.A. Lewis, and K.M. Pryer (2007) Cyanobacterial ribosomal RNA genes with multiple, endonuclease-encoding group I introns. BMC Evolutionary Biology 7: 159.
- Hershkovitz, M. A. and L. A. Lewis (1996) Deep-level diagnostic value of the rDNA-ITS region. Molecular Biology and Evolution 13: 1276- 1295.
- Hanelt, B., D. van Schyndel, C.M. Adema, L. A. Lewis, and E.S. Loker (1996) The phylogenetic position of Rhopalura opiocomae (Orthonectida) based on 18S ribosomal RNA sequence data. Molecular Biology and Evolution 13: 1187-1191.
- Wawrzyniak, L.A. and R.A. Andersen (1983) Silica-scaled Chrysophyceae from North American boreal forest regions in northern Michigan, U.S.A. and Newfoundland, Canada. Nova Hedwigia 41: 127-145.
Spring 2009 (usually in alternate spring semesters, 2009, 2011...)
- I will teach introductory biology for majors, Biology 1108. This course web site is accessed using Vista.
Spring 2009 only
- I will teach EEB 5371 (Current topics in molecular evolution and systematics) for 1 cr. We will be joined by members of MCB department (including Peter Gogarten) and will read Lynch's (2007) book "The Origins of Genome Architecture."
Spring (even years)
- During alternate spring semesters (next in 2010) I co-teach Evolution of Green Plants with Dr. Bernard Goffinet.
Fall (even years)
- Next in 2010, I will teach Biology of the Algae (co-listed as EEB 3250 and EEB 5250).