In DepthEvolution

Algae suggest eukaryotes get many gifts of bacteria DNA

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Science  01 Feb 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6426, pp. 439-440
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6426.439-b

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Algae found in thermal springs and other extreme environments have heated up a long-standing debate: Do eukaryotes—organisms with a cell nucleus—sometimes get an evolutionary boost in the form of genes transferred from bacteria? The genomes of some red algae, single-celled eukaryotes, suggest the answer is yes: About 1% of their genes have foreign origins, and the borrowed genes may help the algae adapt to their hostile environment. The new research has not persuaded the most vocal critic of the idea that eukaryotes have been regular recipients of beneficial bacterial DNA, but other scientists have been won over.