Summary: Critical Review
Jumping Genes and Shrinking Genomes Probing the Evolution of
Eukaryotic Photosynthesis with Genomics
John M. Archibald
Genome Atlantic and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Program in Evolutionary Biology, Department of
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
The advent of comparative genomics has revolutionized the study
of the origin and evolution of eukaryotes and their organelles.
Genomic analysis has revealed that the endosymbiosis that gave rise
to plastids the light-harvesting apparatus of photosynthetic
eukaryotes had a profound impact on the genetic composition of
the host, far beyond the contribution of cyanobacterial genes for
plastid-specific functions. Here I discuss recent advances in our
appreciation of the mosaic nature of the eukaryotic nuclear genome,
and the ongoing role endosymbiosis plays in shaping its content.
IUBMB Life, 57: 539 547, 2005
Keywords Endosymbiosis; gene transfer; plastids; chloroplasts;
algae; genomics; evolution.