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Dinoflagellates are an economically and ecologically important eukaryotic algal group. The organization of their chloroplast genome appears to be radically different from that in plants and other algae. The gene content has been dramatically reduced in dinoflagellates, with the large-scale transfer of genes to the nucleus. Most of the remaining genes encode… (More)
Forensic and ancient DNA (aDNA) extracts are mixtures of endogenous aDNA, existing in more or less damaged state, and contaminant DNA. To obtain the true aDNA sequence, it is not sufficient to generate a single direct sequence of the mixture, even where the authentic aDNA is the most abundant (e.g. 25% or more) in the component mixture. Only bacterial… (More)
The paternal origins of Thoroughbred racehorses trace back to a handful of Middle Eastern stallions, imported to the British Isles during the seventeenth century. Yet, few details of the foundation mares were recorded, in many cases not even their names (several different maternal lineages trace back to 'A Royal Mare'). This has fuelled intense speculation… (More)
Although transcription and transcript processing in the chloroplasts of plants have been extensively characterised, the RNA metabolism of other chloroplast lineages across the eukaryotes remains poorly understood. In this paper, we use RT-PCR to study transcription and transcript processing in the chloroplasts of Amphidinium carterae, a model… (More)
It is well understood that apicomplexan parasites, such as the malaria pathogen Plasmodium, are descended from free-living algae, and maintain a vestigial chloroplast that has secondarily lost all genes of photosynthetic function. Recently, two fully photosynthetic relatives of parasitic apicomplexans have been identified, the 'chromerid' algae Chromera… (More)
Diatom algae arose by two-step endosymbiosis. The complete genome of the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana has now been sequenced, allowing us to reconstruct the remarkable intracellular gene transfers that occurred during this convoluted cellular evolution.
The mitochondrial electron transport chain is essential to Plasmodium and is the target of the antimalarial drug atovaquone. The mitochondrial genomes of Plasmodium sp. are the most reduced known, and the majority of mitochondrial proteins are encoded in the nucleus and imported into the mitochondrion post-translationally. Many organisms have signalling… (More)
The apicoplast, an organelle found in Plasmodium and many other parasitic apicomplexan species, is a remnant chloroplast that is no longer able to carry out photosynthesis. Very little is known about primary transcripts and RNA processing in the Plasmodium apicoplast, although processing in chloroplasts of some related organisms (chromerids and… (More)
The dinoflagellates are an extremely diverse group of algae closely related to the Apicomplexa and the ciliates. Much work has previously been undertaken to determine the presence of various biochemical pathways within dinoflagellate mitochondria. However, these studies were unable to identify several key transcripts including those encoding proteins… (More)
The isolation and characterisation of a novel protist lineage enables the reconstruction of early evolutionary events that gave rise to ciliates, malaria parasites, and coral symbionts. These events include dramatic changes in mitochondrial genome content and organisation.