Conservative sorting in a primitive plastid. The cyanelle of Cyanophora paradoxa.
Higher plant chloroplasts possess at least four different pathways for protein translocation across and protein integration into the thylakoid membranes. It is of interest with respect to plastid evolution, which pathways have been retained as a relic from the cyanobacterial ancestor ('conservative sorting'), which ones have been kept but modified, and which ones were developed at the organelle stage, i.e. are eukaryotic achievements as (largely) the Toc and Tic translocons for envelope import of cytosolic precursor proteins. In the absence of data on cyanobacterial protein translocation, the cyanelles of the glaucocystophyte alga Cyanophora paradoxa for which in vitro systems for protein import and intraorganellar sorting were elaborated can serve as a model: the cyanelles are surrounded by a peptidoglycan wall, their thylakoids are covered with phycobilisomes and the composition of their oxygen-evolving complex is another feature shared with cyanobacteria. We demonstrate the operation of the Sec and Tat pathways in cyanelles and show for the first time in vitro protein import across cyanobacteria-like thylakoid membranes and protease protection of the mature protein. (+info)
Monophyly of primary photosynthetic eukaryotes: green plants, red algae, and glaucophytes.
Between 1 and 1.5 billion years ago, eukaryotic organisms acquired the ability to convert light into chemical energy through endosymbiosis with a Cyanobacterium (e.g.,). This event gave rise to "primary" plastids, which are present in green plants, red algae, and glaucophytes ("Plantae" sensu Cavalier-Smith). The widely accepted view that primary plastids arose only once implies two predictions: (1) all plastids form a monophyletic group, as do (2) primary photosynthetic eukaryotes. Nonetheless, unequivocal support for both predictions is lacking (e.g.,). In this report, we present two phylogenomic analyses, with 50 genes from 16 plastid and 15 cyanobacterial genomes and with 143 nuclear genes from 34 eukaryotic species, respectively. The nuclear dataset includes new sequences from glaucophytes, the less-studied group of primary photosynthetic eukaryotes. We find significant support for both predictions. Taken together, our analyses provide the first strong support for a single endosymbiotic event that gave rise to primary photosynthetic eukaryotes, the Plantae. Because our dataset does not cover the entire eukaryotic diversity (but only four of six major groups in), further testing of the monophyly of Plantae should include representatives from eukaryotic lineages for which currently insufficient sequence information is available. (+info)
Distribution of the extrinsic proteins as a potential marker for the evolution of photosynthetic oxygen-evolving photosystem II.
Distribution of photosystem II (PSII) extrinsic proteins was examined using antibodies raised against various extrinsic proteins from different sources. The results showed that a glaucophyte (Cyanophora paradoxa) having the most primitive plastids contained the cyanobacterial-type extrinsic proteins (PsbO, PsbV, PsbU), and the primitive red algae (Cyanidium caldarium) contained the red algal-type extrinsic proteins (PsO, PsbQ', PsbV, PsbU), whereas a prasinophyte (Pyraminonas parkeae), which is one of the most primitive green algae, contained the green algal-type ones (PsbO, PsbP, PsbQ). These suggest that the extrinsic proteins had been diverged into cyanobacterial-, red algal- and green algal-types during early phases of evolution after a primary endosymbiosis. This study also showed that a haptophyte, diatoms and brown algae, which resulted from red algal secondary endosymbiosis, contained the red algal-type, whereas Euglena gracilis resulted from green algal secondary endosymbiosis contained the green algal-type extrinsic proteins, suggesting that the red algal- and green algal-type extrinsic proteins have been retained unchanged in the different lines of organisms following the secondary endosymbiosis. Based on these immunological analyses, together with the current genome data, the evolution of photosynthetic oxygen-evolving PSII was discussed from a view of distribution of the extrinsic proteins, and a new model for the evolution of the PSII extrinsic proteins was proposed. (+info)
The GapA/B gene duplication marks the origin of Streptophyta (charophytes and land plants).
Independent evidence from morphological, ultrastructural, biochemical, and molecular data have shown that land plants originated from charophycean green algae. However, the branching order within charophytes is still unresolved, and contradictory phylogenies about, for example,the position of the unicellular green alga Mesostigma viride are difficult to reconcile. A comparison of nuclear-encoded Calvin cycle glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenases (GAPDH) indicates that a crucial duplication of the GapA gene occurred early in land plant evolution. The duplicate called GapB acquired a characteristic carboxy-terminal extension (CTE) from the general regulator of the Calvin cycle CP12. This CTE is responsible for thioredoxin-dependent light/dark regulation. In this work, we established GapA, GapB, and CP12 sequences from bryophytes, all orders of charophyte as well as chlorophyte green algae, and the glaucophyte Cyanophora paradoxa. Comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of all available plastid GAPDH sequences suggest that glaucophytes and green plants are sister lineages and support a positioning of Mesostigma basal to all charophycean algae. The exclusive presence of GapB in terrestrial plants, charophytes, and Mesostigma dates the GapA/B gene duplication to the common ancestor of Streptophyta. The conspicuously high degree of GapB sequence conservation suggests an important metabolic role of the newly gained regulatory function. Because the GapB-mediated protein aggregation most likely ensures the complete blockage of the Calvin cycle at night, we propose that this mechanism is also crucial for efficient starch mobilization. This innovation may be one prerequisite for the development of storage tissues in land plants. (+info)
Cyanobacterial contribution to algal nuclear genomes is primarily limited to plastid functions.
A single cyanobacterial primary endosymbiosis that occurred approximately 1.5 billion years ago is believed to have given rise to the plastid in the common ancestor of the Plantae or Archaeplastida--the eukaryotic supergroup comprising red, green (including land plants), and glaucophyte algae. Critical to plastid establishment was the transfer of endosymbiont genes to the host nucleus (i.e., endosymbiotic gene transfer [EGT]). It has been postulated that plastid-derived EGT played a significant role in plant nuclear-genome evolution, with 18% (or 4,500) of all nuclear genes in Arabidopsis thaliana having a cyanobacterial origin with about one-half of these recruited for nonplastid functions. Here, we determine whether the level of cyanobacterial gene recruitment proposed for Arabidopsis is of the same magnitude in the algal sisters of plants by analyzing expressed-sequence tag (EST) data from the glaucophyte alga Cyanophora paradoxa. Bioinformatic analysis of 3,576 Cyanophora nuclear genes shows that 10.8% of these with significant database hits are of cyanobacterial origin and one-ninth of these have nonplastid functions. Our data indicate that unlike plants, early-diverging algal groups appear to retain a smaller number of endosymbiont genes in their nucleus, with only a minor proportion of these recruited for nonplastid functions. (+info)
Algal genomics: exploring the imprint of endosymbiosis.
The nuclear genomes of photosynthetic eukaryotes are littered with genes derived from the cyanobacterial progenitor of modern-day plastids. A genomic analysis of Cyanophora paradoxa - a deeply diverged unicellular alga - suggests that the abundance and functional diversity of nucleus-encoded genes of cyanobacterial origin differs in plants and algae. (+info)
Evolution of the glucose-6-phosphate isomerase: the plasticity of primary metabolism in photosynthetic eukaryotes.
Glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (GPI) has an essential function in both catabolic glycolysis and anabolic gluconeogenesis and is universally distributed among Eukaryotes, Bacteria, and some Archaea. In addition to the cytosolic GPI, land plant chloroplasts harbor a nuclear encoded isoenzyme of cyanobacterial origin that is indispensable for the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (OPPP) and plastid starch accumulation. We established 12 new GPI sequences from rhodophytes, the glaucophyte Cyanophora paradoxa, a ciliate, and all orders of complex algae with red plastids (haptophytes, diatoms, cryptophytes, and dinoflagellates). Our comprehensive phylogenies do not support previous GPI-based speculations about a eukaryote-to-prokaryote horizontal gene transfer from metazoa to gamma-proteobacteria. The evolution of cytosolic GPI is largely in agreement with small subunit analyses, which indicates that it is a specific marker of the host cell. A distinct subtree comprising alveolates (ciliates, apicomplexa, Perkinsus, and dinoflagellates), stramenopiles (diatoms and Phytophthora [oomycete]), and Plantae (green plants, rhodophytes, and Cyanophora) might suggest a common origin of these superensembles. Finally, in contrast to land plants where the plastid GPI is of cyanobacterial origin, chlorophytes and rhodophytes independently recruited a duplicate of the cytosolic GPI that subsequently acquired a transit peptide for plastid import. A secondary loss of the cytosolic isoenzyme and the plastid localization of the single GPI in chlorophycean green algae is compatible with physiological studies. Our findings reveal the fundamental importance of the plastid OPPP for Plantae and document the plasticity of primary metabolism. (+info)
Phylogeny of nuclear-encoded plastid-targeted proteins supports an early divergence of glaucophytes within Plantae.
The phylogenetic position of the glaucophyte algae within the eukaryotic supergroup Plantae remains to be unambiguously established. Here, we assembled a multigene data set of conserved nuclear-encoded plastid-targeted proteins of cyanobacterial origin (i.e., through primary endosymbiotic gene transfer) from glaucophyte, red, and green (including land plants) algae to infer the branching order within this supergroup. We find strong support for the early divergence of glaucophytes within the Plantae, corroborating 2 important putatively ancestral characters shared by glaucophyte plastids and the cyanobacterial endosymbiont that gave rise to this organelle: the presence of a peptidoglycan deposition between the 2 organelle membranes and carboxysomes. Both these traits were apparently lost in the common ancestor of red and green algae after the divergence of glaucophytes. (+info)