Biology & Marine Biology

Faculty & Staff

Jeffrey Craig Bailey, Associate Professor

photoPh.D., Botany, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, 1996
M.A., Biology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, 1992
B.S., Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC, 1990
Myrtle Grove 2339 | (910) 962-2371 | Center for Marine Science, 5600 Marvin K. Moss Lane, Wilmington, NC 28409-5928 | |

My research focuses on the cell biology, evolution, and systematics of marine and freshwater algae.

Evolutionary studies in my laboratory involve determining DNA sequences for particular plastid and/or nuclear-encoded genes. For example, we are examining plastid-encoded rbcL and sufB genes, nuclear 18S rRNA and glutamine synthetase (type II) genes, as well as a number of faster evolving noncoding DNAs. These molecular data are combined with morphological and biochemical data to infer relationships among species or higher taxa. Phylogenetic reconstructions are then used to trace the evolution of key characters that define taxa and to reevaluate their classification. Current systematics projects emphasize relationships among the chlorophyll a + c-containing algae. This lineage, often referred to as chromophytes or heterokont algae, includes chrysophytes, diatoms, pelagophytes, raphidophytes and silicoflagellates among others. Although some are macroscopic and/or benthic, most species within this morphologically diverse group are microscopic phytoplankton.

On-going studies focus on the relationships among species placed in the Chrysophyceae, Chrysomeridales, Phaeothamniophyceae, Pinguiophyceae, Prymnesiophyceae, and Xanthophyceae. This work has resulted in the description of several new chromophyte taxa from freshwater, coastal or open-ocean habitats. In addition, I maintain an active interest in the evolution of the Rhodophyta. I am particularly interested in the systematics of calcified red seaweeds classified in the order Corallinales. These algae are widely distributed and play especially important ecological and geological roles in reef ecosystems. For example, coralline algae and coral animals are the major builders of coral reefs, which are home to one-quarter of all described marine species.

Cell biological studies focus on the evolution of the glutamine synthetase gene family among eukaryotes, the distribution of sufB genes among photoautotrophs, the regulation and function of the sufB gene product in plastids, and characterization of genes encoding transport proteins located on the plastid envelope.

Bailey, J.C., R.R. Bidigare, S.J. Christensen and R.A. Andersen. 1998. Phaeothamniophyceae classis nova.: a new lineage of chromophytes based upon photosynthetic pigments, rbcL sequence analysis and ultrastructure. Protist 149: 245-263.

Bailey J.C. and R.L. Chapman. 1998. A phylogenetic study of the Corallinales (Rhodophyta) based on nuclear small-subunit rRNA gene sequences. Journal of Phycology 34: 692-705.

Bailey J.C. and R.A. Andersen. 1998. Phylogenetic relationships among nine species of the Xanthophyceae based upon analysis of 18S rRNA and rbcL gene sequences. Phycologia 37: 458-466.