Genomic divergence within non-photosynthetic cyanobacterial endosymbionts in rhopalodiacean diatoms

Takuro Nakayama, Yuji Inagaki

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    Abstract

    Organelle acquisitions via endosymbioses with prokaryotes were milestones in the evolution of eukaryotes. Still, quite a few uncertainties have remained for the evolution in the early stage of organellogenesis. In this respect, rhopalodiacean diatoms and their obligate cyanobacterial endosymbionts, called spheroid bodies, are emerging as new models for the study of organellogenesis. The genome for the spheroid body of Epithemia turgida, a rhopalodiacean diatom, has unveiled its unique metabolic nature lacking the photosynthetic ability. Nevertheless, the genome sequence of a spheroid body from a single lineage may not be sufficient to depict the evolution of these cyanobacterium-derived intracellular structures as a whole. Here, we report on the complete genome for the spheroid body of Rhopalodia gibberula, a lineage distinct from E. turgida, of which genome has been fully determined. Overall, features in genome structure and metabolic capacity, including a lack of photosynthetic ability, were highly conserved between the two spheroid bodies. However, our comparative genomic analyses revealed that the genome of the R. gibberula spheroid body exhibits a lower non-synonymous substitution rate and a slower progression of pseudogenisation than those of E. turgida, suggesting that a certain degree of diversity exists amongst the genomes of obligate endosymbionts in unicellular eukaryotes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number13075
    JournalScientific reports
    Volume7
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1

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