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Green alga genome project catalogs carbon capture machinery
Date:10/11/2007

d cyclic GMP. These cyclic nucleotides play key roles in shuttling nutrients into the cell, controlling motility of the organism via flagellar function, and determine sexual development," said Prochnik.

The published analysis of approximately 120 million units of DNA sequence generated by DOE JGI showed that Chlamy shares nearly 7,000 genes with other organisms; more than a third of these are shared by both humans and flowering plants, which helps support the argument for their common ancestry. Many of these genes are normally associated with animals, such as those that describe the circuitry for flagella, enabling this alga to swim. Others have affinity with the earth's early photosynthetic organisms, cyanobacteria, dating far back into Precambrian times, more than three billion years ago, when biodiversity began its explosive proliferation.

"Although Chlamydomonas is a plant, there are clear similarities between this photosynthetic organism and animals that would surprise the average person on the street," said Grossman. "Just 20 years ago, no one would have guessed that an alga would have retained many of the functions we associate with humans and would be useful for developing a basic understanding of certain human diseases."

This resource may inform possible therapeutic strategies for human diseases associated with the fine hair structures of the cilia and flagella--for instance, the neurological movement disorder dyskinesia; polycystic kidney disease (PKD); and some forms of liver, respiratory and retinal degeneration disease.


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Contact: David Gilbert
degilbert@lbl.gov
925-296-5643
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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