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Open Access Commentary

Plastid evolution: gene transfer and the maintenance of 'stolen' organelles

Eunsoo Kim and John M Archibald*

Author Affiliations

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Program in Integrated Microbial Biodiversity, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3 H 1X5, Canada

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BMC Biology 2010, 8:73  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-8-73

Published: 10 June 2010


Many heterotrophic organisms sequester plastids from prey algae and temporarily utilize their photosynthetic capacity. A recent article in BMC Genomics reveals that the dinoflagellate Dinophysis acuminata has acquired photosynthesis-related genes by horizontal gene transfer, which might explain its ability to retain 'stolen' plastids for extended periods of time.

See research article webcite