Noriko Okamoto

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BACKGROUND Photosynthetic eukaryotes with a secondary plastid of red algal origin (cryptophytes, haptophytes, stramenopiles, dinoflagellates, and apicomplexans) are hypothesized to share a single origin of plastid acquisition according to Chromalveolate hypothesis. Recent phylogenomic analyses suggest that photosynthetic "chromalveolates" form a large clade(More)
Proteorhodopsins are light-driven proton pumps involved in widespread phototrophy. Discovered in marine proteobacteria just 10 years ago, proteorhodopsins are now known to have been spread by lateral gene transfer across diverse prokaryotes, but are curiously absent from eukaryotes. In this study, we show that proteorhodopsins have been acquired by(More)
An important missing piece in the puzzle of how plastids spread across the eukaryotic tree of life is a robust evolutionary framework for the host lineages. Four assemblages are known to harbour plastids derived from red algae and, according to the controversial chromalveolate hypothesis, these all share a common ancestry. Phylogenomic analyses have(More)
In alveolate evolution, dinoflagellates have developed many unique features, including the cell that has epicone and hypocone, the undulating transverse flagellum. However, it remains unclear how these features evolved. The early branching dinoflagellates so far investigated such as Hematodinium, Amoebophrya and Oxyrrhis marina differ in many ways from of(More)
Live cell imaging of human malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum during gametocytogenesis revealed that the apicoplast does not grow, whereas the mitochondrion undergoes remarkable morphological development. A close connection of the two organelles is consistently maintained. The apicoplast and mitochondrion are not components of the male gametes,(More)
The parabasalian symbionts of lower termite hindgut communities are well-known for their large size and structural complexity. The most complex forms evolved multiple times independently from smaller and simpler flagellates, but we know little of the diversity of these small flagellates or their phylogenetic relationships to more complex lineages. To(More)
Dinoflagellates are a member of the Alveolata, and elucidation of the early evolution of alveolates is important for our understanding of dinoflagellates, and vice versa. The ultrastructure of the flagellar apparatus has been described from several dinoflagellates in the last few decades, and the basic components appear to be well conserved. The typical(More)
The apical complex is one of the defining features of apicomplexan parasites, including the malaria parasite Plasmodium, where it mediates host penetration and invasion. The apical complex is also known in a few related lineages, including several non-parasitic heterotrophs, where it mediates feeding behaviour. The origin of the apical complex is unclear,(More)
Recent global surveys of marine biodiversity have revealed that a group of organisms known as "marine diplonemids" constitutes one of the most abundant and diverse planktonic lineages [1]. Though discovered over a decade ago [2, 3], their potential importance was unrecognized, and our knowledge remains restricted to a single gene amplified from(More)
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) are pathogens that involve a risk of vertical transmission. They are the infecting organism in approximately one quarter of all cases of neonatal sepsis and meningitis, making prevention of GBS infection an important goal. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends administration of antibiotic(More)