We are currently focused on developing genetic tools for marine protists. Transient and stable transfection, selective agents, and CRISPR/Cas9 for Corallochytrium limacisporum, Creolimax fragantisima and Abeoforma whisleri. 

While developing tools for these organisms we are learning many fascinating facts of their biology. Once we will be able to genetically manipulate these organisms we will better understand their metabolic capacities, their cell capabilities (synchronic nuclei division and cellularization), as well as the function of some genes that were later key for the evolution of animals.

These projects have been possible from the funding of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.  

Pictures from Flickr MultiCellGenome Lab

Corallochrytrium limacisporum
Abeoforma whisleri


Creolimax fragantissima



PI: Elena Casacuberta
Co-PI: Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo
Project numberGBMF4973.01
Duration: 01/10/2017 – 30/09/2019
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.

Funded byBetty and Gordon Moore Foundation


PAST PROJECTS (Last three years)

Screening marine microeukaryotes for their amenability for genetic tool development

PI: Elena Casacuberta
Co-PI: Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo
Project numberGBMF4973
Duration: 2015 – 2017
Funded byBetty and Gordon Moore Foundation


The origin of metamorphosis: molecular and evolutionary analysis of the genes of the metamorphic “toolkit”

Duration: 01/01/2015-31/12/2017
Project number: CGL2014-55786-P
Funded by : Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness