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Our work, and that of our collaborators at Rutgers University and elsewhere, on the complete genome sequencing of the glaucophyte alga, Cyanophora paradoxa, was published in the February 17, 2012, issue of the journal Science.

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Price, D. C., C. X. Chan, H. S. Yoon, E. C. Yang, H. Qiu, A. P. M. Weber, R. Schwacke, J. Gross, N. Blouin, C. Lane, A. Reyes-Prieto, D. Dumford, J. Neilson, B. F. Lang, G. Burger, J. M. Steiner, W. Loffelhardt, J. E. Meuser, M. C. Posewitz, S. Ball, M. C. Arias, B. Henrissat, P. M. Coutinho, S. A. Rensing, A. Symeonidi, H. Doddapaneni, B. Green, V. D. Rajah, J. L. Boore and D. Bhattacharya, 2012 Cyanophora paradoxa genome elucidates origin of photosynthesis in algae and plants. Science 335: 843-847.

See the manuscript here.

See a portal for the project here.

This is a glaucophyte alga, interesting in part because glaucophytes branched off before the split of red and green alga/plants. Thus, they help us to understand the process of establishing plastids in eukaryotes and of the contributions of the cyanobacteria that gave rise to plastids to the eukaryotic nuclear genome.

ABSTRACT from the published manuscript:

The primary endosymbiotic origin of the plastid in eukaryotes more than 1 billion years ago led to the evolution of algae and plants. We analyzed draft genome and transcriptome data from the basally diverging alga Cyanophora paradoxa and provide evidence for a single origin of the primary plastid in the eukaryote supergroup Plantae. C. paradoxa retains ancestral features of starch biosynthesis, fermentation, and plastid protein translocation common to plants and algae but lacks typical eukaryotic light-harvesting complex proteins. Traces of an ancient link to parasites such as Chlamydiae were found in the genomes of C. paradoxa and other Plantae. Apparently, Chlamydia-like bacteria donated genes that allow export of photosynthate from the plastid and its polymerization into storage polysaccharide in the cytosol.

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