Debashish Bhattacharya

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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)
Diatoms and other chromalveolates are among the dominant phytoplankters in the world's oceans. Endosymbiosis was essential to the success of chromalveolates, and it appears that the ancestral plastid in this group had a red algal origin via an ancient secondary endosymbiosis. However, recent analyses have turned up a handful of nuclear genes in(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)
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)
Here we use phylogenomics with expressed sequence tag (EST) data from the ecologically important coccolithophore-forming alga Emiliania huxleyi and the plastid-lacking cryptophyte Goniomonas cf. pacifica to establish their phylogenetic positions in the eukaryotic tree. Haptophytes and cryptophytes are members of the putative eukaryotic supergroup(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)
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 Rhizopoda comprise a diverse assemblage of protists which depend on lobose or filose pseudopodia for locomotion. The biochemical and morphological diversity of rhizopods has led to an uncertain taxonomy. Ribosomal RNA sequence comparisons offer a measure of evolutionary relatedness that is independent of morphology and has been used to demonstrate a(More)
We sequenced to completion the circular plastid genome of the red alga Gracilaria tenuistipitata var. liui. This is the first plastid genome sequence from the subclass Florideophycidae (Rhodophyta). The genome is composed of 183,883 bp and contains 238 predicted genes, including a single copy of the ribosomal RNA operon. Comparisons with the plastid genome(More)
BACKGROUND Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a potentially fatal syndrome associated with the consumption of shellfish that have accumulated saxitoxin (STX). STX is produced by microscopic marine dinoflagellate algae. Little is known about the origin and spread of saxitoxin genes in these under-studied eukaryotes. Fortuitously, some freshwater(More)