What the papers say
Sizing up the genomic footprint of endosymbiosis
Article first published online: 17 NOV 2009
Copyright © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 31, Issue 12, pages 1273–1279, December 2009
How to Cite
Elias, M. and Archibald, J. M. (2009), Sizing up the genomic footprint of endosymbiosis. Bioessays, 31: 1273–1279. doi: 10.1002/bies.200900117
- Issue published online: 17 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 17 NOV 2009
- endosymbiotic gene transfer;
A flurry of recent publications have challenged consensus views on the tempo and mode of plastid (chloroplast) evolution in eukaryotes and, more generally, the impact of endosymbiosis in the evolution of the nuclear genome. Endosymbiont-to-nucleus gene transfer is an essential component of the transition from endosymbiont to organelle, but the sheer diversity of algal-derived genes in photosynthetic organisms such as diatoms, as well as the existence of genes of putative plastid ancestry in the nuclear genomes of plastid-lacking eukaryotes such as ciliates and choanoflagellates, defy simple explanation. Collectively, these papers underscore the power of comparative genomics and, at the same time, reveal how little we know with certainty about the earliest stages of the evolution of photosynthetic eukaryotes.
Editor's suggested further reading in BioEssays
Early steps in plastid evolution: current ideas and controversiesAbstract
Dinoflagellate mitochondrial genomes: stretching the rules of molecular biologyAbstract