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 The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona

nachricht Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>