Charles Delwiche

Professor (and Affiliate of Department of Biology and CBCB)


Office Phone: 301-405-8300

Fax: (301) 314-9082


Graduate Program Affiliations

  • BISI - BISI-Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, & Systematics (BEES)
  • BISI - BISI-Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, & Genomics (CBBG)
  • BISI - BISI-Molecular & Cellular Biology (MOCB)

Research Interests

We study early events in the evolution of plants, particularly the endosymbiotic origin of plastids (chloroplasts), and the origin of land plants (i.e., embryophytes) from green algae, using molecular systematic and genomic methods -- an approach that is now sometimes called phylogenomics." We combine modern molecular methods, including gene and genome sequencing, computer analysis, and a variety of instrumental methods, with more classical methods and field work. By comparing the properties of living organisms we can gain insight into their common ancestors. In our work on the evolution of chloroplasts we have primarily concentrated on dinoflagellates, but have also worked on haptophytes and heterokonts. Our work on the origin of land plants primarily emphasizes the Charophyte Green Algae (also called Streptophytes).


Recent Publications

1: Delwiche CF, Cooper ED. The Evolutionary Origin of a Terrestrial Flora. Curr Biol. 2015 Oct 5;25(19):R899-910. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.08.029. Review. PubMed PMID: 26439353.


2: Bentlage B, Rogers TS, Bachvaroff TR, Delwiche CF. Complex Ancestries of Isoprenoid Synthesis in Dinoflagellates. J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2016 Jan;63(1):123-37. doi: 10.1111/jeu.12261. Epub 2015 Sep 12. PubMed PMID: 26291956.


3: Gibbons TR, Mount SM, Cooper ED, Delwiche CF. Evaluation of BLAST-based edge-weighting metrics used for homology inference with the Markov Clustering algorithm. BMC Bioinformatics. 2015 Jul 10;16:218. doi: 10.1186/s12859-015-0625-x. Erratum in: BMC Bioinformatics. 2015;16:274. PubMed PMID: 26160651; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4496851.


4: Mendez GS, Delwiche CF, Apt KE, Lippmeier JC. Dinoflagellate Gene Structure and Intron Splice Sites in a Genomic Tandem Array. J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2015 Sep-Oct;62(5):679-87. doi: 10.1111/jeu.12230. Epub 2015 Jun 8. PubMed PMID: 25963315.


5: Miller JJ, Delwiche CF. Phylogenomic analysis of Emiliania huxleyi provides evidence for haptophyte-stramenopile association and a chimeric haptophyte nuclear genome. Mar Genomics. 2015 Jun;21:31-42. doi: 10.1016/j.margen.2015.02.008. Epub 2015 Mar 5. PubMed PMID: 25746767.


6: Cooper ED, Bentlage B, Gibbons TR, Bachvaroff TR, Delwiche CF. Metatranscriptome profiling of a harmful algal bloom. Harmful Algae. 2014 Jul;37:75-83. PubMed PMID: 25484636; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4255328.


7: Alexandrou MA, Cardinale BJ, Hall JD, Delwiche CF, Fritschie K, Narwani A, Venail PA, Bentlage B, Pankey MS, Oakley TH. Evolutionary relatedness does not predict competition and co-occurrence in natural or experimental communities of green algae. Proc Biol Sci. 2015 Jan 22;282(1799):20141745. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1745. PubMed PMID: 25473009; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4286037.


8: Bachvaroff TR, Gornik SG, Concepcion GT, Waller RF, Mendez GS, Lippmeier JC, Delwiche CF. Dinoflagellate phylogeny revisited: using ribosomal proteins to resolve deep branching dinoflagellate clades. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2014 Jan;70:314-22. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2013.10.007. Epub 2013 Oct 14. PubMed PMID: 24135237; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4144664.



Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1990. Plant molecular systematics and plastid evolution.