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Evolution of cyanobacterial morphotypes


Schirrmeister, B; Anisimova, M; Antonelli, A; Bagheri, Homayoun C (2011). Evolution of cyanobacterial morphotypes. Communicative & Integrative Biology, 4(4):424-427.

Abstract

Within prokaryotes cyanobacteria represent one of the oldest and morphologically most diverse phyla on Earth. The rise of oxygen levels in the atmosphere 2.32-2.45 billion years ago is assigned to the photosynthetic activity of ancestors from this phylum. Subsequently cyanobacteria were able to adapt to various habitats evolving a comprehensive set of different morphotypes. In a recent study we showed that this evolution is not a gradual transition from simple unicellular to more complex multicellular forms as often assumed. Instead complexity was lost several times and regained at least once. An understanding of the genetic basis of these transitions would be further strengthened by phylogenomic approaches. However, considering that new methods for phylogenomic analyses are emerging, it is unfortunate that genomes available today are comprised of an unbalanced sampling of taxa. We propose avenues to remedy this by identifying taxa that would improve the representation of phylogenetic diversity in this phylum.

Abstract

Within prokaryotes cyanobacteria represent one of the oldest and morphologically most diverse phyla on Earth. The rise of oxygen levels in the atmosphere 2.32-2.45 billion years ago is assigned to the photosynthetic activity of ancestors from this phylum. Subsequently cyanobacteria were able to adapt to various habitats evolving a comprehensive set of different morphotypes. In a recent study we showed that this evolution is not a gradual transition from simple unicellular to more complex multicellular forms as often assumed. Instead complexity was lost several times and regained at least once. An understanding of the genetic basis of these transitions would be further strengthened by phylogenomic approaches. However, considering that new methods for phylogenomic analyses are emerging, it is unfortunate that genomes available today are comprised of an unbalanced sampling of taxa. We propose avenues to remedy this by identifying taxa that would improve the representation of phylogenetic diversity in this phylum.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:July 2011
Deposited On:06 Feb 2012 09:35
Last Modified:05 Aug 2017 11:54
Publisher:Landes Bioscience
ISSN:1942-0889 (E)
Additional Information:Article Addendum
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:http://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/27/article/16183/
PubMed ID:21966561

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