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 60 main eukaryotic lineages.
BACKGROUND For the majority of microbial eukaryotes (protists, algae), there is no clearly superior species concept that is consistently applied. In the absence of a practical biological species concept, most species and genus level delineations have historically been based on morphology, which may lead to an underestimate of the diversity of microbial… (More)
BACKGROUND The eukaryotic elongation factor EF-1alpha (also known as EF1A) catalyzes aminoacyl-tRNA binding by the ribosome during translation. Homologs of this essential protein occur in all domains of life, and it was previously thought to be ubiquitous in eukaryotes. Recently, however, a number of eukaryotes were found to lack EF-1alpha and instead… (More)
BACKGROUND A non-canonical nuclear genetic code, in which TAG and TAA have been reassigned from stop codons to glutamine, has evolved independently in several eukaryotic lineages, including the ulvophycean green algal orders Dasycladales and Cladophorales. To study the phylogenetic distribution of the standard and non-canonical genetic codes, we generated… (More)
Lophomonas striata is a multiflagellate parabasalid commensal in the hindgut of the omnivorous cockroaches Blatta orientalis and Periplaneta americana. Its closest relatives were traditionally thought to include similar multiflagellate parabasalids with a single flagellar area that degenerates during mitosis, such as Joenia and Kofoidia. However, molecular… (More)
Colpodellids are free-living, predatory flagellates, but their close relationship to photosynthetic chromerids and plastid-bearing apicomplexan parasites suggests they were ancestrally photosynthetic. Colpodellids may therefore retain a cryptic plastid, or they may have lost their plastids entirely, like the apicomplexan Cryptosporidium. To find out, we… (More)
The internal compartmentation of eukaryotic cells not only allows separation of biochemical processes but it also creates the requirement for systems that can selectively transport proteins across the membrane boundaries. Although most proteins function in a single subcellular compartment, many are able to enter two or more compartments, a phenomenon known… (More)