Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Microscopic Indigestion Caught in the Act

10.12.2012
Photosynthesis is a key process to life on earth that only plants, algae and some bacteria are capable of doing.

Microbial evolutionary theory suggests that about a billion years ago, microbes ingested other organisms with photosynthetic properties and used those 'captives' as solar powered food factories to supply themselves with nutrition.


Dalhousie University.

Bigelowiella natans, a type of algae decoded in the study.

This ingestion would eventually result in the original microbe becoming capable of photosynthesis, and the remnants of the 'captive' organism would disappear. The process is said to have produced the biodiversity in our oceans that underpins ocean food webs and contributes to atmospheric balance.

However, there hasn't been much evidence to support that this microscopic ingestion was what ultimately produced the sort of organisms that rely on photosynthesis today.

The study of two enigmatic and complex groups of algae has uncovered this process in action. Now scientists are able to see an organism operating photosynthetically, while still being able to detect two very distinct genetic blueprints, revealing how two very different organisms once merged at the genetic level.

This discovery adds further evidence to support the theory that much of the photosynthetic life on earth and the resulting biodiversity began because of two organisms merging, via ingestion of one by another.

“The reason why these two genomes are of significance and importance to the scientific world is that they give us more insight into how that process happened. Because normally, the captured cell, most of it disappears, and only the important parts—being the photosynthetic apparatus—remains," says Dr. Bruce Curtis, first author of the study. "But in the case of these two organisms, they didn’t go to completion. So we see the process in action, so to speak.”

The study (published in Nature, November 28): Algal genomes reveal evolutionary mosaicism and the fate of nucleomorphs.

Nikki Comeau | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.dal.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>