Diatoms and other chromalveolates are among the dominant phytoplankters in the world's L oceans. Endosymbiosis was essential to the success of chromalveolates, and it appears that the ancestral plastid in this group had a red algal origin via an ancient secondary endosymbiosis. However, recent analyses have turned up a handful of nuclear genes in chromalveolates that are of green algal derivation. Using a genome-wide approach to estimate the "green" contribution to diatoms, we identified >1700 green gene transfers, constituting 16% of the diatom nuclear coding potential. These genes were probably introduced into diatoms and other chromalveolates from a cryptic endosymbiont related to prasinophyte-like green algae. Chromalveolates appear to have recruited genes from the two major existing algal groups to forge a highly successful, species-rich protist lineage.
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