A grant has been awarded Central Michigan University under the direction of Dr. Eric W. Linton to analyze the plastid genome of euglenoid protozoans. The chloroplast of land plants, site of photosynthesis and oxygen production in plants, was inherited from green algal ancestors. Euglenoid protozoans have chloroplasts that derive from green algae as well, but through an engulfment process whereby a host cell took in a green alga and retained it as part of the cell. Chloroplasts were probably gained and lost several times during evolution of modern euglenoids. By sequencing the complete chloroplast genomes of several euglenoid species that have chloroplasts and several that lack them, the researchers will gain insight into how many times chloroplasts were acquired and lost, and how the host genomes interacted with the chloroplast genomes during this process. Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as high school teachers, will be involved in hands-on research in genomics. An integrative software program for aligning DNA sequences will be further developed and distributed to the scientific community. Euglenoid chloroplasts contain genes found in disease-causing protozoans, and complete genome sequences should provide insight into the origins of these genes.
|Effective start/end date||10/1/06 → 09/30/11|
- National Science Foundation: $356,754.00