The puzzle of plastid evolution

Curr Biol. 2009 Jan 27;19(2):R81-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2008.11.067.


A comprehensive understanding of the origin and spread of plastids remains an important yet elusive goal in the field of eukaryotic evolution. Combined with the discovery of new photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic protist lineages, the results of recent taxonomically broad phylogenomic studies suggest that a re-shuffling of higher-level eukaryote systematics is in order. Consequently, new models of plastid evolution involving ancient secondary and tertiary endosymbioses are needed to explain the full spectrum of photosynthetic eukaryotes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Cyanobacteria / cytology
  • Cyanobacteria / physiology
  • Eukaryotic Cells / cytology
  • Eukaryotic Cells / physiology
  • Gene Transfer, Horizontal
  • Photosynthesis
  • Phylogeny
  • Plastids* / genetics
  • Plastids* / metabolism
  • Symbiosis* / genetics