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Diversity and Evolution of Plastids and Their Genomes
Plastids, the light-harvesting organelles of plants and algae, are the descendants of cyanobacterial endosymbionts that became permanent fixtures inside nonphotosynthetic eukaryotic host cells. This chapter provides an overview of the structural, functional and molecular diversity of plastids in the context of current views on the evolutionary relationships among the eukaryotic hosts in which they reside. Green algae, land plants, red algae and glaucophyte algae harbor double-membrane-bound plastids whose ancestry is generally believed to trace directly to the original cyanobacterial endosymbiont. In contrast, the plastids of many other algae, such as dinoflagellates, diatoms and euglenids, are usually bound by more than two membranes, suggesting that these were acquired indirectly via endosymbiotic mergers between nonphotosynthetic eukaryotic hosts and eukaryotic algal endosymbionts. An increasing amount of genomic data from diverse photosynthetic taxa has made it possible to test specific hypotheses about the evolution of photosynthesis in eukaryotes and, consequently, improve our understanding of the genomic and biochemical diversity of modern-day eukaryotic phototrophs.
  • References (222)
  • Cited By (34)
1999 in Photosynthesis ResearchIF: 3.09
Samuel I. Beale28
Estimated H-index: 28
(Brown University)
The enzymes responsible for chlorophyll biosynthesis in plants, algae and cyanobacteria are identified and described, with emphasis on their protein composition and structure, required cofactors, physical and catalytic properties, protein-protein interactions and allosteric modulation of activity. Properties and features of the pathway that enable it to operate in a coordinated way while using unstable and light-sensitive intermediates in potentially hostile biochemical environments are discusse...
326 Citations Source Cite
Hwan Su Yoon21
Estimated H-index: 21
(University of Iowa),
Jeremiah D. Hackett25
Estimated H-index: 25
(University of Iowa)
+ 1 AuthorsDebashish Bhattacharya63
Estimated H-index: 63
(University of Iowa)
Abstract Algae include a diverse array of photosynthetic eukaryotes excluding land plants. Explaining the origin of algal plastids continues to be a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Current knowledge suggests that plastid primary endosymbiosis, in which a single-celled protist engulfs and “enslaves” a cyanobacterium, likely occurred once and resulted in the primordial alga. This eukaryote then gave rise through vertical evolution to the red, green, and glaucophyte algae. However, some mo...
283 Citations Download PDF Cite
2001 in Photosynthesis ResearchIF: 3.09
Wolfgang R. Hess29
Estimated H-index: 29
(Humboldt University of Berlin),
Gabrielle Rocap25
Estimated H-index: 25
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
+ 4 AuthorsSallie W. Chisholm73
Estimated H-index: 73
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Within the vast oceanic gyres, a significant fraction of the total chlorophyll belongs to the light-harvesting antenna systems of a single genus, Prochlorococcus. This organism, discovered only about 10 years ago, is an extremely small, Chl b-containing cyanobacterium that sometimes constitutes up to 50% of the photosynthetic biomass in the oceans. Various Prochlorococcus strains are known to have significantly different conditions for optimal growth and survival. Strains which dominate the surf...
132 Citations Download PDF Cite
2005 in Journal of PhycologyIF: 3.00
Andrzej Bodył12
Estimated H-index: 12
According to the idea of secondary endosymbiosis, plastids with three and four envelope membranes have evolved from either red or green algal endosymbionts engulfed by phagotrophic protozoans. Although this hypothesis is nowadays commonly accepted, the number of secondary endosymbioses still remains controversial. One of the models, known as the "chromalveolate" hypothesis, postulates that the 4 membrane-bound plastids of Chromista and the 3 or 4 membrane-bound plastids of Alveolata result from ...
70 Citations Source Cite
2005 in Journal of PhycologyIF: 3.00
Nicola J. Patron23
Estimated H-index: 23
(Canadian Institute for Advanced Research),
Patrick J. Keeling69
Estimated H-index: 69
(Canadian Institute for Advanced Research)
Plastidic starch synthesis in green algae and plants occurs via ADP-glucose in likeness to prokaryotes from which plastids have evolved. In contrast, floridean starch synthesis in red algae proceeds via uridine diphosphate-glucose in semblance to eukaryotic glycogen synthesis and occurs in the cytosol rather than the plastid. Given the monophyletic origin of all plastids, we investigated the origin of the enzymes of the plastid and cytosolic starch synthetic pathways to determine whether their l...
75 Citations Download PDF Cite
Gernot Glöckner33
Estimated H-index: 33
André Rosenthal51
Estimated H-index: 51
Klaus Valentin9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University of Giessen)
Photosynthetic eukaryotes can, according to features of their chloroplasts, be divided into two major groups: the red and the green lineage of plastid evolution. To extend the knowledge about the evolution of the red lineage we have sequenced and analyzed the chloroplast genome (cp-genome) of Cyanidium caldarium RK1, a unicellular red alga (AF022186). The analysis revealed that this genome shows several unusual structural features, such as a hypothetical hairpin structure in a gene-free region a...
118 Citations Source Cite
2005 in ProtistIF: 2.70
Kazuhiko Koike20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Kitasato University),
Hiroshi Sekiguchi5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Biotechnology Institute)
+ 4 AuthorsTakehiko Ogata26
Estimated H-index: 26
(Kitasato University)
Red-fluorescent, non-phycobilin-containing plastids were found in the heterotrophic dinoflagellate, Dinophysis mitra . Transmission electron microscopy showed that they contained a three-layer thylakoid, the absence of girdle lamella, and an embedded pyrenoid with thylakoid intrusions. These characteristics all coincide with haptophyte plastids. Phylogenetic analysis of the plastid small-subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) revealed that the Dinophysis mitra sequences are distantly related to those ...
50 Citations Source Cite
2006 in BMC Evolutionary BiologyIF: 3.03
Jean-Charles de Cambiaire5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Laval University),
Christian Otis34
Estimated H-index: 34
(Laval University)
+ 1 AuthorsMonique Turmel41
Estimated H-index: 41
(Laval University)
Background The phylum Chlorophyta contains the majority of the green algae and is divided into four classes. While the basal position of the Prasinophyceae is well established, the divergence order of the Ulvophyceae, Trebouxiophyceae and Chlorophyceae (UTC) remains uncertain. The five complete chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) sequences currently available for representatives of these classes display considerable variability in overall structure, gene content, gene density, intron content and gene order....
59 Citations Source Cite
John J. Lee1
Estimated H-index: 1
Seymour H. Hutner3
Estimated H-index: 3
Eugene C. Bovee1
Estimated H-index: 1
855 Citations
  • References (222)
  • Cited By (34)
Michael W. Gray65
Estimated H-index: 65
(Dalhousie University),
John M. Archibald36
Estimated H-index: 36
(Dalhousie University)
The evolution of mitochondria and plastids (chloroplasts) by endosymbiosis is a central tenet of modern eukaryotic cell biology. Evidence in support of a prokaryotic ancestry for these textbook organelles is now stronger than ever, but despite decades of genomics-enabled research, fundamental questions about the earliest events leading to their establishment remain unanswered. Foremost among them is the precise nature of the cells involved in these endosymbiotic mergers. Mitochondria and plastid...
18 Citations Source Cite
Georg Hausner23
Estimated H-index: 23
(University of Manitoba)
The organellar mobilome mainly consists of mobile group I and II introns, homing endonuclease genes, and plasmids. Group I and II introns can be distinguished from each other by their sequences, secondary and tertiary RNA structures, and splicing mechanisms. These introns are potential ribozymes catalyzing their own removal from the precursor RNA transcripts. Organellar plasmids are presumed to be cryptic, although some plasmids have been associated with genetic defects. Plasmids are also of int...
24 Citations Source Cite
2015 in PLOS ONEIF: 2.77
Jong Im Kim5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Chungnam National University),
Hwan Su Yoon19
Estimated H-index: 19
(Sungkyunkwan University)
+ 3 AuthorsWoongghi Shin13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Chungnam National University)
Teleaulax amphioxeia is a photosynthetic unicellular cryptophyte alga that is distributed throughout marine habitats worldwide. This alga is an important plastid donor to the dinoflagellate Dinophysis caudata through the ciliate Mesodinium rubrum in the marine food web. To better understand the genomic characteristics of T. amphioxeia, we have sequenced and analyzed its plastid genome. The plastid genome sequence of T. amphioxeia is similar to that of Rhodomonas salina, and they share significan...
13 Citations Source Cite
Dave Speijer27
Estimated H-index: 27
(University of Amsterdam),
Julius Lukeš48
Estimated H-index: 48
(Sewanee: The University of the South),
Marek Eliáš26
Estimated H-index: 26
(University of Ostrava)
Sexual reproduction and clonality in eukaryotes are mostly seen as exclusive, the latter being rather exceptional. This view might be biased by focusing almost exclusively on metazoans. We analyze and discuss reproduction in the context of extant eukaryotic diversity, paying special attention to protists. We present results of phylogenetically extended searches for homologs of two proteins functioning in cell and nuclear fusion, respectively (HAP2 and GEX1), providing indirect evidence for these...
70 Citations Download PDF Cite
Florence Bouvier25
Estimated H-index: 25
(Centre national de la recherche scientifique),
Alexis Samba Mialoundama6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Centre national de la recherche scientifique),
Bilal Camara32
Estimated H-index: 32
(Centre national de la recherche scientifique)
Plastids are best known for their role in photosynthesis and metabolism. However, accumulating evidence indicates that plastids could be important environmental sensors and executors of the adaptative responses of plants. The mechanisms involved are diverse, ranging from the recognition of pathogen invaders to the execution of signaling cascades that trigger their destruction. Thus, several pathogens and parasites exploit or hijack plastid functions to evade host defenses. Plastids are also impl...
9 Citations Source Cite
2015 in Current BiologyIF: 9.25
John M. Archibald36
Estimated H-index: 36
(Canadian Institute for Advanced Research)
Understanding the evolution of eukaryotic cellular complexity is one of the grand challenges of modern biology. It has now been firmly established that mitochondria and plastids, the classical membrane-bound organelles of eukaryotic cells, evolved from bacteria by endosymbiosis. In the case of mitochondria, evidence points very clearly to an endosymbiont of α-proteobacterial ancestry. The precise nature of the host cell that partnered with this endosymbiont is, however, very much an open questio...
107 Citations Source Cite
Mats Töpel11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of Gothenburg),
Paul Jarvis33
Estimated H-index: 33
(University of Leicester)
Tic20 is a polytopic protein of the inner envelope membrane of chloroplasts, and it is proposed to act as a translocation channel during chloroplast protein import. By analyzing 29 sequences from diverse organisms, it was evident that Tic20-related proteins form two distinct clades, termed Group 1 and Group 2. The former group includes canonical Tic20 proteins that are essential for chloroplast development, while members of the latter are of unknown function. An increased evolutionary rate, in c...
9 Citations Download PDF Cite
2013 in Molecular EcologyIF: 6.13
Susana M. Coelho19
Estimated H-index: 19
(University of Paris),
Nathalie Simon24
Estimated H-index: 24
(University of Paris)
+ 2 AuthorsFrédéric Partensky48
Estimated H-index: 48
(University of Paris)
Environmental (ecological) genomics aims to understand the genetic basis of relationships between organisms and their abiotic and biotic environments. It is a rapidly progressing field of research largely due to recent advances in the speed and volume of genomic data being produced by next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. Building on information generated by NGS-based approaches, functional genomic methodologies are being applied to identify and characterize genes and gene systems of bo...
23 Citations Source Cite
2013 in PLOS ONEIF: 2.77
Giorgio Honsell5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Udine),
Alois Bonifacio17
Estimated H-index: 17
(University of Trieste)
+ 8 AuthorsTakeshi Yasumoto77
Estimated H-index: 77
The harmful dinoflagellate Ostreopsis cf. ovata has been causing toxic events along the Mediterranean coasts and other temperate and tropical areas, with increasing frequency during the last decade. Despite many studies, important biological features of this species are still poorly known. An integrated study, using different microscopy and molecular techniques, Raman microspectroscopy and high resolution liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HR LC-MS), was undertaken to elucidate cytological...
36 Citations Source Cite
Natalie Donaher3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Canadian Institute for Advanced Research),
Goro Tanifuji5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Canadian Institute for Advanced Research)
+ 4 AuthorsJohn M. Archibald36
Estimated H-index: 36
(Canadian Institute for Advanced Research)
The cryptomonads are a group of unicellular algae that acquired photosynthesis through the engulfment of a red algal cell, a process called secondary endosymbiosis. Here, we present the complete plastid genome sequence of the secondarily nonphotosynthetic species Cryptomonas paramecium CCAP977/2a. The ~78 kilobase pair (Kbp) C. paramecium genome contains 82 predicted protein genes, 29 transfer RNA genes, and a single pseudogene (atpF). The C. paramecium plastid genome is approximately 50 Kbp sma...
39 Citations Source Cite
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