Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 21652613
Mol. Biol. Evol. 2011 Nov;28(11):3019-32
The emergence of photosynthetic eukaryotes has played a crucial role in evolution and has strongly modified earth’s ecology. Several phylogenetic analyses have established that primary plastids arose from a cyanobacterium through endosymbiosis. However, the question of which present-day cyanobacterial lineage is most closely related to primary plastids has been unclear. Here, we have performed an extensive phylogenomic investigation on the origin of primary plastids based on the analysis of up to 191 protein markers and over 30,000 aligned amino acid sites from 22 primary photosynthetic eukaryotes and 61 cyanobacteria representing a wide taxonomic sampling of this phylum. By using a number of solutions to circumvent a large range of systematic errors, we have reconstructed a robust global phylogeny of cyanobacteria and studied the placement of primary plastids within it. Our results strongly support an early emergence of primary plastids within cyanobacteria, prior to the diversification of most present-day cyanobacterial lineages for which genomic data are available.