Steal My Sunshine
Top row (l to r): Elysia chlorotica; spotted salamander adult; Lotharella globosa. Bottom row (l to r): diatom (Campylodiscus sp.); Paulinella chromatophora; diatom (Thalassiosira pseudonana). For credits, see end of article. Our world is swarming with symbioses. Sea anemones and clownfish, land plants and mycorrhizal fungi, rays and remora cleaner fish, corals and algae. All around us, radically different species team up in unconventional ways, forming long-lasting relationships that benefit both parties. Among the more profitable endosymbioses is one that allows the host to derive energy from sunlight. Catch me if you can The genesis of plastids follows a straightforward and generally agreed-upon plot: about 1.5 billion years ago, a heterotrophic eukaryote, which gained energy by consuming and digesting organic compounds, swallowed and retained a free-living photosynthetic cyanobacterium. Opportunistic eukaryotes have also hijacked plastids from red algae. Moving in References 1. 2. 3.
Related: Synthetic & Systems Biology
• Bioinformatics & Genomics