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Green algae -- the nexus of plant/animal ancestry
Date:10/11/2007

te genetic material into two new cells during mitosis. Cilia are important to many animal functions.

The study identified many new proteins that are likely associated with the flagella, and has distinguished those proteins of the flagella that are critical for movement and those that are associated with sensory functions (feeling the conditions in the environment). The analysis has also generated new insights about human diseases associated with ciliary dysfunction in humans, including those of the kidney and the eye.

The researchers also performed a comparative gene analysis across species to explore the evolutionary history of Chlamy, and the relationship of this alga to other organisms. Of the 6,968 protein families that have so-called homologs proteins that have similar amino acid sequences, often reflecting a similar or related function among the species they found that Chlamy shared 35% (2,489/6,968) with both flowering plants and humans, and an additional 10% (706/6,968) with humans but not with flowering plants.

In addition, there are numerous proteins in Chlamy that make it suited to live in soil environments, including large families of specific transportersproteins that help move material across cell membranes that enable it to scavenge nutrients from the soil. While some of these transporters have an affiliation with transporters in plants, others are more closely related to those in animals. Moreover, the Chlamy genome encodes many families of regulatory elements, including one that contains over 50 guanylyl/adenylyl cyclases-- enzymes probably involved in distinct developmental processes including mating and sexual signaling. There are also numerous genes and gene families that relate to making sugars and polysaccharides, to use the sugars and polysaccharides to produce energy and to build a highly structured and efficient chloroplast, the factory where the cell harnesses the energy of sunlight.

Indeed, many gre
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Contact: Arthur Grossman
Arthurg@stanford.edu
650-325-1521 x212
Carnegie Institution
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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