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Evolution of organellar metabolism in unicellular eukaryotes.

Ginger, Michael L. and McFadden, Geoffrey I. and Michels, Paul A. M. (2010) Evolution of organellar metabolism in unicellular eukaryotes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series B Biological Sciences, 365 (1541). pp. 693-698. ISSN 0080-4622

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Abstract

Metabolic innovation has facilitated the radiation of microbes into almost every niche environment on the Earth, and over geological time scales transformed the planet on which we live. A notable example of innovation is the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis which was a prelude to the gradual transformation of an anoxic Earth into a world with oxygenated oceans and an oxygen-rich atmosphere capable of supporting complex multicellular organisms. The influence of microbial innovation on the Earth's history and the timing of pivotal events have been addressed in other recent themed editions of Philosophical Transactions of Royal Society B (Cavalier-Smith et al. 2006; Bendall et al. 2008). In this issue, our contributors provide a timely history of metabolic innovation and adaptation within unicellular eukaryotes. In eukaryotes, diverse metabolic portfolios are compartmentalized across multiple membrane-bounded compartments (or organelles). However, as a consequence of pathway retargeting, organelle degeneration or novel endosymbiotic associations, the metabolic repertoires of protists often differ extensively from classic textbook descriptions of intermediary metabolism. These differences are often important in the context of niche adaptation or the structure of microbial communities. Fundamentally interesting in its own right, the biochemical, cell biological and phylogenomic investigation of organellar metabolism also has wider relevance. For instance, in some pathogens, notably those causing some of the most significant tropical diseases, including malaria, unusual organellar metabolism provides important new drug targets. Moreover, the study of organellar metabolism in protists continues to provide critical insight into our understanding of eukaryotic evolution.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series B Biological Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Biomedical & Life Sciences
ID Code: 34896
Deposited By: Dr Michael Ginger
Deposited On: 14 Dec 2010 14:33
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 17:43
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/34896

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