Learn More
The appearance of photosynthetic eukaryotes (algae and plants) dramatically altered the Earth's ecosystem, making possible all vertebrate life on land, including humans. Dating algal origin is, however, frustrated by a meager fossil record. We generated a plastid multi-gene phylogeny with Bayesian inference and then used maximum likelihood molecular clock(More)
Algae include a diverse array of photosynthetic eukaryotes excluding land plants. Explaining the origin of algal plastids continues to be a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Current knowledge suggests that plastid primary endosymbiosis, in which a single-celled protist engulfs and "enslaves" a cyanobacterium, likely occurred once and resulted in the(More)
BACKGROUND Dinoflagellates are known for their capacity to form harmful blooms (e.g., "red tides") and as symbiotic, photosynthetic partners for corals. These unicellular eukaryotes have permanently condensed, liquid-crystalline chromosomes and immense nuclear genome sizes, often several times the size of the human genome. Here we describe the first draft(More)
The most widely distributed dinoflagellate plastid contains chlorophyll c(2) and peridinin as the major carotenoid. A second plastid type, found in taxa such as Karlodinium micrum and Karenia spp., contains chlorophylls c(1) + c(2) and 19'-hexanoyloxy-fucoxanthin and/or 19'-butanoyloxy-fucoxanthin but lacks peridinin. Because the presence of chlorophylls(More)
The sea slug Elysia chlorotica acquires plastids by ingestion of its algal food source Vaucheria litorea. Organelles are sequestered in the mollusc's digestive epithelium, where they photosynthesize for months in the absence of algal nucleocytoplasm. This is perplexing because plastid metabolism depends on the nuclear genome for >90% of the needed proteins.(More)
Symbiotic animals containing green photobionts challenge the common perception that only plants are capable of capturing the sun's rays and converting them into biological energy through photoautotrophic CO(2) fixation (photosynthesis). 'Solar-powered' sacoglossan molluscs, or sea slugs, have taken this type of symbiotic association one step further by(More)
There are four major classes of introns: self-splicing group I and group II introns, tRNA and/or archaeal introns and spliceosomal introns in nuclear pre-mRNA. Group I introns are widely distributed in protists, bacteria and bacteriophages. Group II introns are found in fungal and land plant mitochondria, algal plastids, bacteria and Archaea. Group II and(More)
Picoeukaryotes are a taxonomically diverse group of organisms less than 2 micrometers in diameter. Photosynthetic marine picoeukaryotes in the genus Micromonas thrive in ecosystems ranging from tropical to polar and could serve as sentinel organisms for biogeochemical fluxes of modern oceans during climate change. These broadly distributed primary producers(More)
In this paper, we focus on dinoflagellate ecology, toxin production, fossil record, and a molecular phylogenetic analysis of hosts and plastids. Of ecological interest are the swimming and feeding behavior, bioluminescence, and symbioses of dinoflagellates with corals. The many varieties of dinoflagellate toxins, their biological effects, and current(More)
BACKGROUND Dinoflagellates are important marine primary producers and grazers and cause toxic "red tides". These taxa are characterized by many unique features such as immense genomes, the absence of nucleosomes, and photosynthetic organelles (plastids) that have been gained and lost multiple times. We generated EST sequences from non-normalized and(More)