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The cooperative view: New evidence suggests a symbiogenetic origin for the centrosome

nant of a once-independent, simpler genome that was incorporated by symbiosis.

Most animal genes have introns, regions that are transcribed into RNA but then spliced out, says Alliegro. But if you look at viral genes or bacterial genes, they have little or no introns. It turns out the genes for Spisula centrosomal RNAs have few or no introns. They are a special set of RNAs that derived from intron-poor or intron-less genes, which may very well support the idea that they come from a simpler organism, like a virus or bacteria.

The Alliegros lost their RNA library due to Katrina, and in their paper they acknowledge Gloria Giarratano of LSU Health Sciences Center, who helped them re-clone the library from DNA they recovered in the hurricanes aftermath. They also thank Bruce and Sharon Waddell of Slidell, Louisiana, in whose home they lived after Katrina, and where our laboratory was resurrected in part from the dining room table; as well as Carol Burdsal and other colleagues at Tulane University, where they temporarily set up a new lab. Robert Palazzo of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a longtime visiting investigator at the MBL, is acknowledged for providing the centrosome preparation for the original RNA extractions as well as advice and encouragement. This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health as well as post-Katrina emergency recovery funds from the Society for Developmental Biology.


Contact: Diana Kenney
Marine Biological Laboratory

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