Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mitochondria share an ancestor with SAR11, a globally significant marine microbe

Date:
July 26, 2011
Source:
University of Hawaii, Manoa
Summary:
A recent study provides strong evidence that mitochondria share a common evolutionary ancestor with a lineage of marine bacteria known as SAR11, arguably the most abundant group of microorganisms on Earth.

This is an electron micrograph of SAR11 strain HIMB4 cultured from Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii.
Credit: Michael Rappe, SOEST/UHM

Billions of years ago, an astounding evolutionary event occurred: certain bacteria became obliged to live inside other cells, thus starting a chain of events that resulted in what is now the mitochondria, an organelle found in all eukaryotic cells. A recent study by researchers at the University of Hawaii -- Manoa (UHM) and the Oregon State University (OSU) provides strong evidence that mitochondria share a common evolutionary ancestor with a lineage of marine bacteria known as SAR11, arguably the most abundant group of microorganisms on Earth.

"This is a very exciting discovery," says Michael Rappe, Associate Researcher at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at UHM. "The results that we present make sense in a lot of ways: the physiology of SAR11 makes them more apt to be dependent on other organisms, and based on the contemporary abundance of SAR11 in the global ocean, the ancestral lineage may have also been abundant in the ancient ocean, increasing encounters between this bacterial lineage with the host of the original symbiosis event."

In order to understand the evolutionary history of the SAR11 clade of marine bacteria, colleagues at Oregon State University compared the genomics of mitochondria from diverse supergroups of eukaryotes (including Excavata, Chromalveolata, and Archaeplastida) with the genomics of SAR11 strains isolated by Rappe's laboratory using several interconnected computer programs. This approach provided highly sophisticated and thorough phylogenetic analysis of these genomes. In addition to discovering the evolutionary connection between mitochondria and SAR11, the phylogenomics-based assessment of the diversity of this group (i.e. an assessment based on the entire genome, rather than single genes) provided substantial support for proposing a new family of bacteria, Pelagibacteraceae, fam. nov. "The implication is that the lineage of highly abundant marine bacteria known as SAR11 contains a significant amount of genetic diversity, which potentially indicates significant diversity in metabolism," notes Rappe.

Rappe and colleagues at SOEST and OSU continue to grow new strains of SAR11 and probe their genomes to further understand their metabolic potential and how they have become so successful in the global ocean.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Hawaii, Manoa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Cameron Thrash, Alex Boyd, Megan J. Huggett, Jana Grote, Paul Carini, Ryan J. Yoder, Barbara Robbertse, Joseph W. Spatafora, Michael S. Rappι, Stephen J. Giovannoni. Phylogenomic evidence for a common ancestor of mitochondria and the SAR11 clade. Scientific Reports, 2011; 1 DOI: 10.1038/srep00013

Cite This Page:

University of Hawaii, Manoa. "Mitochondria share an ancestor with SAR11, a globally significant marine microbe." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110725190046.htm>.
University of Hawaii, Manoa. (2011, July 26). Mitochondria share an ancestor with SAR11, a globally significant marine microbe. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110725190046.htm
University of Hawaii, Manoa. "Mitochondria share an ancestor with SAR11, a globally significant marine microbe." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110725190046.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — We all know that it is important to eat our fruits and vegetables but do you know which ones are the best for you? Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) — MIT researchers were able to change whether bad memories in mice made them anxious by flicking an emotional switch in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) — A study out of University at Buffalo claims couples who smoke marijuana are less likely to experience intimate partner violence. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) — A panda in China showed pregnancy symptoms that disappeared after two months of observation. One theory: Her pseudopregnancy was a ploy for perks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins