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The objective of my PhD project is to identify novel regulatory components of the gametophyte-to-sporophyte transition during the life cycle of the brown alga Ectocarpus.  I aim to isolate and characterize new mutants with aberrant life cycles and also characterise a diffusible factor produced by the sporophyte that is capable of inducing a switch of developmental program in the gametophyte generation (Arun et al., 2013).