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Origin and Evolution of Plastids: Genomic View on the Unification and Diversity of Plastids

  • Naoki Sato
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 23)

The notion “plastid” unifies the diversity of various plastids in diverse photosynthetic eukaryotes and certain non-photosynthetic parasites. Plastid diversity can be seen in the photosynthetic or metabolic capacities, the photosynthetic accessory pigments, the architecture of plastid membranes, and the size and content of plastid genomes. The central unifying principle is that all plastids are bound by two envelope membranes and possess plastid DNA, which was inherited from an ancestral cyanobacterial endosymbiont. Although phylogenetic analysis of the relationship between cyanobacteria and plastids does not identify the cyanobacterial species nearest to the plastid origin or the branching order of various plastids lineages, the radiation of both extant cyanobacteria and plastids is estimated to have occurred on a similar geological timescale. In addition to two major secondary endosymbiogenesis each involving a red and a green algal endosymbionts, tertiary endosymbiotic events have been proposed to explain the origin of diverse dinoflagellates. A new concept of plants suggests that all hosts of secondary or tertiary plastid endosymbiogenesis had once possessed primary plastids and subsequently lost them, and thereby they had been prepared to accept new plastids. In spite of these recent developments in plastid phylogeny that demonstrate continuity of plastid genomes, discontinuous evolution of plastid genomic machinery is another aspect of plastid evolution. Plastids gained various regulatory mechanisms from their host organisms during the evolution of land plants such that the genomic machinery that runs the plastid genome of the flowering plants no longer looks like red algal counterparts, nor even the cyanobacterial genomic machinery.

Keywords

Plastid Genome Envelope Membrane Single Origin Photosynthetic Eukaryote Plastid Evolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naoki Sato
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and SciencesThe University of TokyoMeguroJapan

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