Int J Parasitol. 2008 Sep 12. [Epub ahead of print]
Evolution of the apicoplast and its hosts: From heterotrophy to autotrophy and back again
Oborník M, Janouškovec J, Chrudimský T, Lukeš J
Biology Centre, Institute of Parasitology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Sciences, Branisovská 31, 370 05, Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic.
The photosynthetic origin of apicomplexan parasites was proposed upon the discovery of a reduced non-photosynthetic plastid termed the apicoplast in their cells. Although it is clear that the apicoplast has evolved through a secondary endosymbiosis, its particular origin within the red or green plastid lineage remains controversial. The recent discovery of Chromera velia, the closest known photosynthetic relative to apicomplexan parasites, sheds new light on the evolutionary history of alveolate plastids. Here we review our knowledge on the evolutionary history of Apicomplexa and particularly their plastids, with a focus on the pathway by which they evolved from free-living heterotrophs through photoautotrophs to omnipresent obligatory intracellular parasites. New sequences from C. velia (histones H2A, H2B; GAPDH, TufA) and phylogenetic analyses are also presented and discussed here.
PMID: 18822291 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]