The mitochondrial genomes of the glaucophytes Gloeochaete wittrockiana and Cyanoptyche gloeocystis: multilocus phylogenetics suggests a monophyletic archaeplastida.
ABSTRACT: A significant limitation when testing the putative single origin of primary plastids and the monophyly of the Archaeplastida supergroup, comprised of the red algae, viridiplants, and glaucophytes, is the scarce nuclear and organellar genome data available from the latter lineage. The Glaucophyta are a key algal group when investigating the origin and early diversification of photosynthetic eukaryotes. However, so far only the plastid and mitochondrial genomes of the glaucophytes Cyanophora paradoxa (strain CCMP 329) and Glaucocystis nostochinearum (strain UTEX 64) have been completely sequenced. Here, we present the complete mitochondrial genomes of Gloeochaete wittrockiana SAG 46.84 (36.05 kb; 33 protein-coding genes, 6 unidentified open reading frames [ORFs], and 28 transfer RNAs [tRNAs]) and Cyanoptyche gloeocystis SAG 4.97 (33.24 kb; 33 protein-coding genes, 6 unidentified ORFs, and 26 tRNAs), which represent two genera distantly related to the "well-known" Cyanophora and Glaucocystis. The mitochondrial gene repertoire of the four glaucophyte species is highly conserved, whereas the gene order shows considerable variation. Phylogenetic analyses of 14 mitochondrial genes from representative taxa from the major eukaryotic supergroups, here including novel sequences from the glaucophytes Cyanophora tetracyanea (strain NIES-764) and Cyanophora biloba (strain UTEX LB 2766), recover a clade uniting the three Archaeplastida lineages; this recovery is dependent on our novel glaucophyte data, demonstrating the importance of greater taxon sampling within the glaucophytes.
Project description:Glaucophyta are members of the Archaeplastida, the founding group of photosynthetic eukaryotes that also includes red algae (Rhodophyta), green algae, and plants (Viridiplantae). Here we present a high-quality assembly, built using long-read sequences, of the ca. 100 Mb nuclear genome of the model glaucophyte Cyanophora paradoxa. We also conducted a quick-freeze deep-etch electron microscopy (QFDEEM) analysis of C. paradoxa cells to investigate glaucophyte morphology in comparison to other organisms. Using the genome data, we generated a resolved 115-taxon eukaryotic tree of life that includes a well-supported, monophyletic Archaeplastida. Analysis of muroplast peptidoglycan (PG) ultrastructure using QFDEEM shows that PG is most dense at the cleavage-furrow. Analysis of the chlamydial contribution to glaucophytes and other Archaeplastida shows that these foreign sequences likely played a key role in anaerobic glycolysis in primordial algae to alleviate ATP starvation under night-time hypoxia. The robust genome assembly of C. paradoxa significantly advances knowledge about this model species and provides a reference for exploring the panoply of traits associated with the anciently diverged glaucophyte lineage.
Project description:A heterotrophic organism 1-2 billion years ago enslaved a cyanobacterium to become the first photosynthetic eukaryote, and has diverged globally. The primary phototrophs, glaucophytes, are thought to retain ancestral features of the first photosynthetic eukaryote, but examining the protoplast ultrastructure has previously been problematic in the coccoid glaucophyte Glaucocystis due to its thick cell wall. Here, we examined the three-dimensional (3D) ultrastructure in two divergent species of Glaucocystis using ultra-high voltage electron microscopy. Three-dimensional modelling of Glaucocystis cells using electron tomography clearly showed that numerous, leaflet-like flattened vesicles are distributed throughout the protoplast periphery just underneath a single-layered plasma membrane. This 3D feature is essentially identical to that of another glaucophyte genus Cyanophora, as well as the secondary phototrophs in Alveolata. Thus, the common ancestor of glaucophytes and/or the first photosynthetic eukaryote may have shown similar 3D structures.
Project description:RNAi (RNA interference) relies on the production of small RNAs (sRNAs) from double-stranded RNA and comprises a major pathway in eukaryotes to restrict the propagation of selfish genetic elements. Amplification of the initial RNAi signal by generation of multiple secondary sRNAs from a targeted mRNA is catalyzed by RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RdRPs). This phenomenon is known as transitivity and is particularly important in plants to limit the spread of viruses. Here we describe, using a genome-wide approach, the distribution of sRNAs in the glaucophyte alga Cyanophora paradoxa. C. paradoxa is a member of the supergroup Plantae (also known as Archaeplastida) that includes red algae, green algae, and plants. The ancient (>1 billion years ago) split of glaucophytes within Plantae suggests that C. paradoxa may be a useful model to learn about the early evolution of RNAi in the supergroup that ultimately gave rise to plants. Using next-generation sequencing and bioinformatic analyses we find that sRNAs in C. paradoxa are preferentially associated with mRNAs, including a large number of transcripts that encode proteins arising from different functional categories. This pattern of exonic sRNAs appears to be a general trend that affects a large fraction of mRNAs in the cell. In several cases we observe that sRNAs have a bias for a specific strand of the mRNA, including many instances of antisense predominance. The genome of C. paradoxa encodes four sequences that are homologous to RdRPs in Arabidopsis thaliana. We discuss the possibility that exonic sRNAs in the glaucophyte may be secondarily derived from mRNAs by the action of RdRPs. If this hypothesis is confirmed, then transitivity may have had an ancient origin in Plantae.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Classification of eukaryotes provides a fundamental phylogenetic framework for ecological, medical, and industrial research. In recent years eukaryotes have been classified into six major supergroups: Amoebozoa, Archaeplastida, Chromalveolata, Excavata, Opisthokonta, and Rhizaria. According to this supergroup classification, Archaeplastida and Chromalveolata each arose from a single plastid-generating endosymbiotic event involving a cyanobacterium (Archaeplastida) or red alga (Chromalveolata). Although the plastids within members of the Archaeplastida and Chromalveolata share some features, no nucleocytoplasmic synapomorphies supporting these supergroups are currently known. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This study was designed to test the validity of the Archaeplastida and Chromalveolata through the analysis of nucleus-encoded eukaryotic translation elongation factor 2 (EEF2) and cytosolic heat-shock protein of 70 kDa (HSP70) sequences generated from the glaucophyte Cyanophora paradoxa, the cryptophytes Goniomonas truncata and Guillardia theta, the katablepharid Leucocryptos marina, the rhizarian Thaumatomonas sp. and the green alga Mesostigma viride. The HSP70 phylogeny was largely unresolved except for certain well-established groups. In contrast, EEF2 phylogeny recovered many well-established eukaryotic groups and, most interestingly, revealed a well-supported clade composed of cryptophytes, katablepharids, haptophytes, rhodophytes, and Viridiplantae (green algae and land plants). This clade is further supported by the presence of a two amino acid signature within EEF2, which appears to have arisen from amino acid replacement before the common origin of these eukaryotic groups. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our EEF2 analysis strongly refutes the monophyly of the Archaeplastida and the Chromalveolata, adding to a growing body of evidence that limits the utility of these supergroups. In view of EEF2 phylogeny and other morphological evidence, we discuss the possibility of an alternative eukaryotic supergroup.
Project description:The origin of oxygenic photosynthesis in the Archaeplastida common ancestor was foundational for the evolution of multicellular life. It is very likely that the primary endosymbiosis that explains plastid origin relied initially on the establishment of a metabolic connection between the host cell and captured cyanobacterium. We posit that these connections were derived primarily from existing host-derived components. To test this idea, we used phylogenomic and network analysis to infer the phylogenetic origin and evolutionary history of 37 validated plastid innermost membrane (permeome) metabolite transporters from the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Our results show that 57% of these transporter genes are of eukaryotic origin and that the captured cyanobacterium made a relatively minor (albeit important) contribution to the process. We also tested the hypothesis that the bacterium-derived hexose-phosphate transporter UhpC might have been the primordial sugar transporter in the Archaeplastida ancestor. Bioinformatic and protein localization studies demonstrate that this protein in the extremophilic red algae Galdieria sulphuraria and Cyanidioschyzon merolae are plastid targeted. Given this protein is also localized in plastids in the glaucophyte alga Cyanophora paradoxa, we suggest it played a crucial role in early plastid endosymbiosis by connecting the endosymbiont and host carbon storage networks. In summary, our work significantly advances understanding of plastid integration and favors a host-centric view of endosymbiosis. Under this view, nuclear genes of either eukaryotic or bacterial (noncyanobacterial) origin provided key elements of the toolkit needed for establishing metabolic connections in the primordial Archaeplastida lineage.
Project description:Plastid genome (ptDNA) data of Glaucophyta have been limited for many years to the genus Cyanophora. Here, we sequenced the ptDNAs of Gloeochaete wittrockiana, Cyanoptyche gloeocystis, Glaucocystis incrassata, and Glaucocystis sp. BBH. The reported sequences are the first genome-scale plastid data available for these three poorly studied glaucophyte genera. Although the Glaucophyta plastids appear morphologically "ancestral," they actually bear derived genomes not radically different from those of red algae or viridiplants. The glaucophyte plastid coding capacity is highly conserved (112 genes shared) and the architecture of the plastid chromosomes is relatively simple. Phylogenomic analyses recovered Glaucophyta as the earliest diverging Archaeplastida lineage, but the position of viridiplants as the first branching group was not rejected by the approximately unbiased test. Pairwise distances estimated from 19 different plastid genes revealed that the highest sequence divergence between glaucophyte genera is frequently higher than distances between species of different classes within red algae or viridiplants. Gene synteny and sequence similarity in the ptDNAs of the two Glaucocystis species analyzed is conserved. However, the ptDNA of Gla. incrassata contains a 7.9-kb insertion not detected in Glaucocystis sp. BBH. The insertion contains ten open reading frames that include four coding regions similar to bacterial serine recombinases (two open reading frames), DNA primases, and peptidoglycan aminohydrolases. These three enzymes, often encoded in bacterial plasmids and bacteriophage genomes, are known to participate in the mobilization and replication of DNA mobile elements. It is therefore plausible that the insertion in Gla. incrassata ptDNA is derived from a DNA mobile element.
Project description:Core components of plastid protein import and the principle of using N-terminal targeting sequences are conserved across the Archaeplastida, but lineage-specific differences exist. Here we compare, in light of plastid protein import, the response to high-light stress from representatives of the three archaeplastidal groups. Similar to land plants, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii displays a broad response to high-light stress, not observed to the same degree in the glaucophyte Cyanophora paradoxa or the rhodophyte Porphyridium purpureum. We find that only the Chloroplastida encode both Toc75 and Oep80 in parallel and suggest that elaborate high-light stress response is supported by changes in plastid protein import. We propose the origin of a phenylalanine-independent import pathway via Toc75 allowed higher import rates to rapidly service high-light stress, but with the cost of reduced specificity. Changes in plastid protein import define the origin of the green lineage, whose greatest evolutionary success was arguably the colonization of land.
Project description:The nature of the cytoplasmic pathway of starch biosynthesis was investigated in the model glaucophyte Cyanophora paradoxa. The storage polysaccharide granules are shown to be composed of both amylose and amylopectin fractions, with a chain length distribution and crystalline organization similar to those of green algae and land plant starch. A preliminary characterization of the starch pathway demonstrates that Cyanophora paradoxa contains several UDP-glucose-utilizing soluble starch synthase activities related to those of the Rhodophyceae. In addition, Cyanophora paradoxa synthesizes amylose with a granule-bound starch synthase displaying a preference for UDP-glucose. A debranching enzyme of isoamylase specificity and multiple starch phosphorylases also are evidenced in the model glaucophyte. The picture emerging from our biochemical and molecular characterizations consists of the presence of a UDP-glucose-based pathway similar to that recently proposed for the red algae, the cryptophytes, and the alveolates. The correlative presence of isoamylase and starch among photosynthetic eukaryotes is discussed.
Project description:The glaucophyte Cyanophora paradoxa (Cp) was chemically investigated to identify pigments efficiently inhibiting malignant melanoma, mammary carcinoma and lung adenocarcinoma cells growth. Cp water and ethanol extracts significantly inhibited the growth of the three cancer cell lines in vitro, at 100 µg · mL(-1). Flash chromatography of the Cp ethanol extract, devoid of c-phycocyanin and allophycocyanin, enabled the collection of eight fractions, four of which strongly inhibited cancer cells growth at 100 µg · mL(-1). Particularly, two fractions inhibited more than 90% of the melanoma cells growth, one inducing apoptosis in the three cancer cells lines. The detailed analysis of Cp pigment composition resulted in the discrimination of 17 molecules, ten of which were unequivocally identified by high resolution mass spectrometry. Pheophorbide a, ?-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin were the three main pigments or derivatives responsible for the strong cytotoxicity of Cp fractions in cancer cells. These data point to Cyanophora paradoxa as a new microalgal source to purify potent anticancer pigments, and demonstrate for the first time the strong antiproliferative activity of zeaxanthin and ?-cryptoxanthin in melanoma cells.
Project description:Starch defines an insoluble semicrystalline form of storage polysaccharides restricted to Archaeplastida (red and green algae, land plants, and glaucophytes) and some secondary endosymbiosis derivatives of the latter. While green algae and land-plants store starch in plastids by using an ADP-glucose-based pathway related to that of cyanobacteria, red algae, glaucophytes, cryptophytes, dinoflagellates, and apicomplexa parasites store a similar type of polysaccharide named floridean starch in their cytosol or periplast. These organisms are suspected to store their floridean starch from UDP-glucose in a fashion similar to heterotrophic eukaryotes. However, experimental proof of this suspicion has never been produced. Dinoflagellates define an important group of both photoautotrophic and heterotrophic protists. We now report the selection and characterization of a low starch mutant of the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Crypthecodinium cohnii. We show that the sta1-1 mutation of C. cohnii leads to a modification of the UDP-glucose-specific soluble starch synthase activity that correlates with a decrease in starch content and an alteration of amylopectin structure. These experimental results validate the UDP-glucose-based pathway proposed for floridean starch synthesis.