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Origin of photosynthesis revealed by a 'living fossil'

Date:
February 17, 2012
Source:
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Summary:
Recently, the complete genome of a glaucophyte alga (Cyanophora paradoxa) has been unraveled by an international consortium.

Illustration of alga cyanophora paradoxa.
Credit: Susanne Ruemmele, Bhattacharya Lab

Recently, the complete genome of a glaucophyte alga (Cyanophora paradoxa) has been unraveled by an international consortium led by Dr. Debashish Bhattacharya from Rutgers University (USA). From the University of Freiburg, Dr. Stefan Rensing and Aikaterini Symeonidi (Faculty of Biology), contributed to the analysis of the genome by performing classification and phylogenomic analyses of the encoded transcription factors as well as by checking for and removing genomic contaminations.

The results are published in the current issue of the journal Science.

Todays plants and algae, which form the base of many food chains, contain little green reactors (plastids) that transform gaseous carbon dioxide to sugar by means of photosynthesis. The genome of the early diverging alga C. paradoxa provides conclusive evidence for the fact that more than one billion years ago plastids were acquired in a single evolutionary event, through so-called primary endosymbiosis. The present day plastids we find in land plants, red and green algae and in the glaucophyte algae, such a C. paradoxa, can all be traced back to that single crucial event, enabling eukaryotes to gain energy from sunlight.

The relatively small (~70Mbp) genome was sequenced and analysed by a team of 30 scientists from six countries. Since it represents the earliest lineage to branch off from what became today's land plants, it is expected to be of high value for many future comparative genomics studies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. C. Price, C. X. Chan, H. S. Yoon, E. C. Yang, H. Qiu, A. P. M. Weber, R. Schwacke, J. Gross, N. A. Blouin, C. Lane, A. Reyes-Prieto, D. G. Durnford, J. A. D. Neilson, B. F. Lang, G. Burger, J. M. Steiner, W. Loffelhardt, J. E. Meuser, M. C. Posewitz, S. Ball, M. C. Arias, B. Henrissat, P. M. Coutinho, S. A. Rensing, A. Symeonidi, H. Doddapaneni, B. R. Green, V. D. Rajah, J. Boore, D. Bhattacharya. Cyanophora paradoxa Genome Elucidates Origin of Photosynthesis in Algae and Plants. Science, 2012; 335 (6070): 843 DOI: 10.1126/science.1213561

Cite This Page:

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. "Origin of photosynthesis revealed by a 'living fossil'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217101339.htm>.
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. (2012, February 17). Origin of photosynthesis revealed by a 'living fossil'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217101339.htm
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. "Origin of photosynthesis revealed by a 'living fossil'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217101339.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

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Origin of Photosynthesis Revealed: Genome Analysis of 'living Fossil' Sheds Light on the Evolution of Plants

Feb. 21, 2012 — Evolutionary biologists have shed light on the early events leading to photosynthesis, the result of the sequencing of 70 million base pair nuclear genome of the one-celled alga Cyanophora. They ... read more
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