Dion G. Durnford

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Recent advances in resolving the tree of eukaryotes are converging on a model composed of a few large hypothetical 'supergroups', each comprising a diversity of primarily microbial eukaryotes (protists, or protozoa and algae). The process of resolving the tree involves the synthesis of many kinds of data, including single-gene trees, multigene analyses, and(More)
The light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) of land plants and green algae have essential roles in light capture and photoprotection. Though the functional diversity of the individual LHC proteins are well described in many land plants, the extent of this family in the majority of green algal groups is unknown. To examine the evolution of the chlorophyll a/b(More)
The light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) are a superfamily of chlorophyll-binding proteins present in all photosynthetic eukaryotes. The Lhc genes are nuclear-encoded, yet the pigment–protein complexes are localized to the thylakoid membrane and provide a marker to follow the evolutionary paths of plastids with different pigmentation. The LHCs are divided into(More)
Eukaryotes acquired photosynthetic metabolism over a billion years ago, and during that time the light-harvesting antennae have undergone significant structural and functional divergence. The antenna systems are generally used to harvest and transfer excitation energy into the reaction centers to drive photosynthesis, but also have the dual role of energy(More)
The primary endosymbiotic origin of the plastid in eukaryotes more than 1 billion years ago led to the evolution of algae and plants. We analyzed draft genome and transcriptome data from the basally diverging alga Cyanophora paradoxa and provide evidence for a single origin of the primary plastid in the eukaryote supergroup Plantae. C. paradoxa retains(More)
Cryptophyte and chlorarachniophyte algae are transitional forms in the widespread secondary endosymbiotic acquisition of photosynthesis by engulfment of eukaryotic algae. Unlike most secondary plastid-bearing algae, miniaturized versions of the endosymbiont nuclei (nucleomorphs) persist in cryptophytes and chlorarachniophytes. To determine why, and to(More)
The role of the redox state of ferredoxin/thioredoxin within the chloroplast is well established for the feedback regulation of enzyme activity in the Calvin cycle. However, evidence has emerged also suggesting that chloroplast electron transport components regulate plastid and nuclear gene expression. Using the unicellular green alga, Dunaliella(More)
 A fucoxanthin-chlorophyll protein (FCP) cDNA from the raphidophyte Heterosigma carterae encodes a 210-amino acid polypeptide that has similarity to other FCPs and to the chlorophyll a/b-binding proteins (CABs) of terrestrial plants and green algae. The putative transit sequence has characteristics that resemble a signal sequence. The Heterosigma fcp genes(More)
Lateral gene transfer is increasingly invoked to explain phylogenetic results that conflict with our understanding of organismal relationships. In eukaryotes, the most common observation interpreted in this way is the appearance of a bacterial gene (one that is not clearly derived from the mitochondrion or plastid) in a eukaryotic nuclear genome. Ideally(More)
Light-harvesting-like (LIL) proteins are low-molecular-mass membrane proteins related to the light-harvesting complexes, which form the dominant antenna system in most photosynthetic eukaryotes. To analyze the LIL protein family, we mined a number of publicly available databases to identify members of this family in a broad range of organisms. LIL proteins(More)