Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Reveal Origin of Photosynthesis

February 24, 2012

An international team of scientists led by Prof. Debashish Bhattacharya of Rutgers University conducted a study that is considered as the final piece of the photosynthesis evolution puzzle. Their study titled Cyanophora paradoxa genome elucidates origin of photosynthesis in algae and plants is published this week in the journal Science.

The team sequenced the 70 million base pair nuclear genome of Cyanophora, a single-celled alga that has retained much of the ancestral gene diversity common between algae and plants. The team used the Illumina Genome Analyzer IIx in Rutgers to get the data which provided the conclusive proof that all plastids trace their origin to a single primary endosymbiosis, which has been believed to be the event that led to the development of photosynthetic species.