Navigation Links
The origin of photosynthesis revealed
Date:2/21/2012

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ: - Atmospheric oxygen really took off on our planet about 2.4 billion years ago during the Great Oxygenation Event. At this key juncture of our planet's evolution, species had either to learn to cope with this poison that was produced by photosynthesizing cyanobacteria or they went extinct. It now seems strange to think that the gas that sustains much of modern life had such a distasteful beginning.

So how and when did the ability to produce oxygen by harnessing sunlight enter the eukaryotic domain, that includes humans, plants, and most recognizable, multicellular life forms? One of the fundamental steps in the evolution of our planet was the development of photosynthesis in eukaryotes through the process of endosymbiosis.

This crucial step forward occurred about 1.6 billion years ago when a single-celled protist captured and retained a formerly free-living cyanobacterium. This process, termed primary endosymbiosis, gave rise to the plastid, which is the specialized compartment where photosynthesis takes place in cells. Endosymbiosis is now a well substantiated theory that explains how cells gained their great complexity and was made famous most recently by the work of the late biologist Lynn Margulis, best known for her theory on the origin of eukaryotic organelles.

In a paper "Cyanophora paradoxa genome elucidates origin of photosynthesis in algae and plants" that appeared this week in the journal Science, an international team led by evolutionary biologist and Rutgers University professor Debashish Bhattacharya has shed light on the early events leading to photosynthesis, the result of the sequencing of 70 million base pair nuclear genome of the one-celled alga Cyanophora.

In the world of plants, "Cyanophora is the equivalent to the lung fish, in that it maintains some primitive characteristics that make it an ideal candidate for genome sequencing," said Bhattacharya.

Bhattacharya and colleagues consider this study "the final piece of the puzzle to understand the origin of photosynthesis in eukaryotes." Basic understanding of much of the subsequent evolution of eukaryotes, including the rise of plants and animals, is emerging from the sequencing of the Cyanophora paradoxa genome, a function-rich species that retains much of the ancestral gene diversity shared by algae and plants. For those unfamiliar with algae, they include the ubiquitious diatoms that are some of the most prodigious primary producers on our planet, accounting for up to 40% of the annual fixed carbon in the marine environment.

Bhattacharya leads the Rutgers Genome Cooperative that has spread the use of genome methods among university faculty. Using data generated by the Illumina Genome Analyzer IIx in his lab, Bhattacharya, his lab members Dana C. Price, Cheong Xin Chan, Jeferson Gross, Divino Rajah and collaborators from the U.S., Europe and Canada provided conclusive evidence that all plastids trace their origin to a single primary endosymbiosis.

Now that the blueprint of eukaryotic photosynthesis has come more clearly in sight, researchers will be able to figure out not only what unites all algae as plants but also what key features make them different from each other and the genes underlying these functions.


'/>"/>

Contact: Paula Quintin
quintin@aesop.rutgers.edu
848-932-4204
Rutgers University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. TGen-led study suggests origins of MRSA strain in food animals
2. The quest for sugars involved in origin of life
3. Radical theory explains the origin, evolution, and nature of life, challenges conventional wisdom
4. Restored wetlands rarely equal condition of original wetlands
5. Scientists discover new clue to the chemical origins of life
6. Understanding causes of obesity in Aboriginal children
7. New study sheds light on evolutionary origin of oxygen-based cellular respiration
8. Avalanche of reactions at the origin of life
9. NEI awards new grant to study the biological origins of eye allergies
10. Focus on glaucoma origins continues path toward potential cure
11. 50 million year old cricket and katydid fossils hint at the origins of insect hearing
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The origin of photosynthesis revealed
(Date:6/20/2016)... DALLAS , June 20, 2016 ... criminal justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, ... by the prisons involved, it has secured the ... Corrections (DOC) facilities for Managed Access Systems (MAS) ... (4) additional facilities to be installed by October, ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... -- Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit Union (SACU) ... Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution into SACU,s ... in greater convenience for SACU members and operational ... document workflow and compliance requirements. Logo ... Highlights: ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... YORK , June 1, 2016 ... Technology in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost ... to a recently released TechSci Research report, " Global ... By Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", ... 24.8 billion by 2021, on account of growing security ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" or "the Company") announces ... Clean Technology Fund I, LP and Clean Technology Fund ... venture capital funds which together hold approximately 59% of ... as converted basis), that they have entered into an ... in Biorem to TUS Holdings Co. Ltd. ("TUS") (en.tusholdings.com) ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel ... clinical trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module ... circle with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients ...
(Date:6/27/2016)...  Liquid Biotech USA , ... Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania ... cancer patients.  The funding will be used to ... clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a variety ... employed to support the design of a therapeutic, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled a liquid ... to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination deficiency ... new test has already been incorporated into numerous ... types. Over 230 clinical trials are ... including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. Drugs ...
Breaking Biology Technology: