Cyanobacteria

Architects of the earliest microfossils, atmospheric oxygen, and plastids.

Endosymbiotic Gene Transfer in Cyanobacterial Plastids

ScienceWeek: mod. "Amazingly some of the chloroplast's own genes were not simply lost from its genome but moved to the host nuclear genome. The evolutionary introduction of a transit peptide sequence into these genes resulted originally in cyanobacterial gene products ending up back in the chloroplast, carrying out their original function but under host control . . . The other bonanza from this symbiosis: the large number of genes from the original cyanobacterium that have ended up in the host nuclear genome without a role in chloroplast maintenance. These genes provided the raw genetic material for plant diversification and competition, possibly against the original cyanobacterium itself."

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