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John Archibald – Gene exchange across the eukaryotic tree of life

Prof. John Archibald, Dalhousie University, Halifax, recently gave a talk during his visit to the CRC 1182 at Kiel University:

“Gene exchange across the eukaryotic tree of life: highways, byways, and bike paths”

Endosymbiosis has had a profound impact on the evolution of eukaryotic life. Mitochondria and plastids are endosymbiotically-derived organelles—they evolved from once free-living bacteria. Subsequent to the evolution of ‘primary’ plastids from cyanobacteria, the process of ‘secondary’ (i.e., eukaryote-eukaryote) endosymbiosis has served to spread plastids horizontally across the eukaryotic tree. The nuclear genomes of many microbial eukaryotes are evolutionary mosaics—they are mixtures of genes that have come from different prokaryotic and eukaryotic lineages. In this presentation I will summarize what is known about the genetic and cell biological diversity of protists and single-celled algae, and present new data exploring the extent to which horizontal gene transfers from bacteria and viruses have also contributed to genome mosaicism across the eukaryotic tree of life.

More about John Archibald’s work:

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