News of the WeekEvolutionary Biology

Bacteria Shared Photosynthesis Genes

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Science  22 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5598, pp. 1538-1539
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5598.1538b

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Historically, sun-loving microbes that convert solar energy to biomass, it seems, were quite promiscuous: They readily swapped DNA. Early on, these species were remarkably free, as researchers explain on page 1616, in sharing the photosynthesis genes that enable them to draw energy from sunlight--so free that it's hard to use these genes to trace the microbes' ancestry.