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PLoS Curr. 2016 Mar 15;8. pii: ecurrents.tol.e68a099364bb1a1e129a17b4e06b0c6b. doi: 10.1371/currents.tol.e68a099364bb1a1e129a17b4e06b0c6b.

How Really Ancient Is Paulinella Chromatophora?

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Ingeniería Genética, CINVESTAV - Irapuato; Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico.


The ancestor of Paulinella chromatophora established a symbiotic relationship with cyanobacteria related to the Prochloroccocus/Synechococcus clade. This event has been described as a second primary endosymbiosis leading to a plastid in the making. Based on the rate of pseudogene disintegration in the endosymbiotic bacteria Buchnera aphidicola, it was suggested that the chromatophore in P. chromatophora has a minimum age of ~60 Myr. Here we revisit this estimation by using a lognormal relaxed molecular clock on the 18S rRNA of P. chromatophora. Our time estimates show that depending on the assumptions made to calibrate the molecular clock, P. chromatophora diverged from heterotrophic Paulinella spp. ~ 90 to 140 Myr ago, thus establishing a maximum date for the origin of the chromatophore.

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