Bioinformatics and Genomics

Comparative Genomics

Group Structure

Toni Gabaldón (ICREA Research Professor)
Cinta Pegueroles, Salvador Capella-Gutíerrez
Leszek Pryscsz, Alexandros Pittis, Ernst Thür, Laia Carreté
Marina Marcet-Houben, Ester Saus, Ewa Kiezopolska


The research interests of the group are focused around the use of comparative genomics and phylogenomics to study the origin, evolution and function of complex biological systems. This includes understanding how specific biochemical pathways; protein complexes or cellular organelles have emerged and evolved as well as using this evolutionary information to gain insight into their function. Through collaborations with experimental groups we apply comparative genomics to discover new mechanisms and genes involved in interesting processes, especially those of clinical relevance (see lines of research). On the technical side, our work often involves the development of new bioinformatics tools and algorithms that we make available to the community. More information at

Research Projects

  • Evolutionary genomics of long, non-coding RNAs
    Our group has embarked into a project, funded by the European Research Council that aims to combine state-of-the-art computational and sequencing techniques in order to elucidate what evolutionary mechanisms are shaping this enigmatic component of eukaryotic genomes.
  • Comparative genomic of fungal pathogens
    By comparing genomes of different species and strains we want to understand what genomic re-arrangements underlie the emergence of pathogenesis.
  • Phylogenomics and genome evolution
    We combine the development of original algorithms to treat phylogenomic data with its application to gain knowledge on problems of biological relevance
  • Evolution of the eukaryotic cell
    We use large-scale evolutionary analyses to investigate the origin and evolution two most widespread organelles for which an endosymbiotic origin has been proposed: mitochondria and peroxisomes.

Selected Publications

  1. Gabaldón T, Koonin EV.
    “Functional and evolutionary implications of gene orthology.”
    Nat Rev Genet, 14(5):360-6 (2013).
  2. Gabaldón T et. al.
    “Comparative genomics of emerging pathogens in the Candida glabrata clade.”
    BMC Genomics, 14(1):623 (2013).
  3. Huerta-Cepas J, Capella-Gutiérrez S, Pryszcz LP, Marcet-Houben M, Gabaldón T.
    “PhylomeDB v4: zooming into the plurality of evolutionary histories of a genome.”
    Nucleic Acids Res, 42(Database issue):D897-902. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt1177. Epub 2013 Nov 25.
  4. Gabaldón T .
    “A metabolic scenario for the evolutionary origin of peroxisomes from the endomembranous system.”
    Cell Mol Life Sci, 2013 Jul 25. [Epub ahead of print]
  5. Dohm JC, et. al.
    “The genome of the recently domesticated crop plant sugar beet (Beta vulgaris).”
    Nature, 505(7484):546-9. doi: 10.1038/nature12817. Epub 2013 Dec 18.