The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Evolution of Photosynthesis in Sacoglossa


Elysia timida

Quick facts

Project title: 
Evolution of Photosynthesis in Sacoglossa
ZFMK Project lead: 
Object of research: 
Snails and Slugs



The loss of the shell in sea slugs enabled the evolution of photosynthetic capability within some groups, but also enforced the evolution of alternative defense strategies. In this project, we investigate the origin and efficiency of photosynthesis in Sacoglossan sea slugs (Heterobranchia), by analysing phylogenetic relationship, as well as anatomy, physiology and behaviour. Genomic analyses help to understand the background and the prerequisites for chloroplast incorporation. 


Contact person

Head of Section
+49 228 9122-241
+49 228 9122-295
h.waegele [at]