Advances in Algal Cell Biology by Kirsten Heimann

By Kirsten Heimann

Molecular study on algae during the last a long time has supplied major insights into common organic mechanisms. this data has proved necessary to the sector of biotechnology the place learn on new purposes in nutrition tradition, biofuel and prescribed drugs is underway. This new e-book on algal mobile biology offers an summary of state of the art examine with a spotlight on cytoskeleton structure/function and cytokinesis of algae.

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Many researchers, however, also want to know ‘what’ kinds of cells were actually involved in this process. This question is difficult to address because of the diverse nature of eukaryotic phototrophs and the antiquity of the endosymbiotic events that gave rise to their plastids. It is thus anything but straightforward to decisively and convincingly reconstruct the early evolution of photosynthetic eukaryotes. In the simplest case, algal cells have three genome-bearing organelles, the nucleus, plastid and mitochondrion.

Meanwhile, among the nuclear genes in green plants, MenA and MenG are cyanobacterial-type, and MenE is of deltaproteobacterial origin. Gross et al. (2008) maintained that the complicated patterns seen in their phylogenetic trees are evidence for evolutionary ‘chimerism’ in the genome of the ancestor of plastids. They also suggested that the ancestor might have been actively incorporating extracellular DNA mediated by viruses such as cyanophages. In phylogenetic trees of the Men proteins, less consistent were the interrelationships between prokaryotic clades used as the outgroup in the analysis (Gross et al.

If so, what is the rationale for it? While the concept of a tree is useful in taxonomy, it clearly has its limits when it comes to representing the evolutionary processes driving the evolution of algae and their organelles (Lane and Archibald 2008). Debate continues on the existence of a prokaryotic tree of life. Some prefer a pattern of tree-like evolution represented by ‘core’ genes (Ciccarelli et al. 2006; Shi and Falkowski 2008) while others favor a web-like representation of life, a complex reticulation driven by rampant LGT (Doolittle 1999; Dagan and Endosymbiosis, gene transfer and algal cell evolution 37 Martin 2009; Haggerty et al.

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