Origins of Algae and their Plastids

Volume 11 of the series Plant Systematics and Evolution pp 149-162

The complete sequence of the Cyanophora paradoxa cyanelle genome (Glaucocystophyceae)

  • W. Löffelhardt
  • , H. J. Bohnert
  • , D. A. Bryant

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The obligatorily autotrophic protist, Cyanophora paradoxa, harbors cyanelles, primitive plastids with the morphology and surrounding peptidoglycan sacculus of endosymbiotic cyanobacteria. The complete nucleotide sequence of the 135.6 kb cyanelle genome leaves no doubt about the plastid status of these unusual organelles. Peculiarities of genome organization that are found in cyanelles as well as in algal and higher plant chloroplasts support the hypothesis that all plastid types have a common origin (i.e., that only a singular primary endosymbiotic event occurred). The ancestral semiautonomous organelle, the protoplastid, would still have retained the prokaryotic wall in this scenario.


Glaucocystophyceae Cyanophora paradoxa. Cyanelles peptidoglycan genome organization endosymbiosis protoplastid