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.
Keywords: Cyanophora paradoxa; Archaeplastida; phylogenomics; tree of eukaryotes; ultrastructure.
© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.