The single, ancient origin of chromist plastids

Hwan Su Yoon, Jeremiah Hackett, Gabriele Pinto, Debashish Bhattacharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

289 Citations (Scopus)

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 modern algal lineages have a more complicated evolutionary history involving a secondary endosymbiotic event, in which a protist engulfed an existing eukaryotic alga (rather than a cyanobacterium), which was then reduced to a secondary plastid. Secondary endosymbiosis explains the majority of algal biodiversity, yet the number and timing of these events is unresolved. Here we analyzed a five-gene plastid data set to show that a taxonomically diverse group of chlorophyll c2-containing protists comprising cryptophyte, haptophyte, and stramenopiles algae (Chromista) share a common plastid that most likely arose from a single, ancient (≈1,260 million years ago) secondary endosymbiosis involving a red alga. This finding is consistent with Chromista monophyly and implicates secondary endosymbiosis as an important force in generating eukaryotic biodiversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15507-15512
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume99
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 26 2002
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Plastids
Symbiosis
Biodiversity
Cyanobacteria
Eukaryota
Stramenopiles
Embryophyta
Rhodophyta
Chlorophyta
Chlorophyll
History
Genes

Keywords

  • Cryptophyte
  • Haptophyte
  • Plastid evolution
  • Secondary endosymbiosis
  • Stramenopiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

Cite this

The single, ancient origin of chromist plastids. / Yoon, Hwan Su; Hackett, Jeremiah; Pinto, Gabriele; Bhattacharya, Debashish.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 99, No. 24, 26.11.2002, p. 15507-15512.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yoon, Hwan Su ; Hackett, Jeremiah ; Pinto, Gabriele ; Bhattacharya, Debashish. / The single, ancient origin of chromist plastids. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2002 ; Vol. 99, No. 24. pp. 15507-15512.
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