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Publication - Dr Patricia Sanchez-Baracaldo

    Early photosynthetic eukaryotes inhabited low salinity habitats


    Sanchez-Baracaldo, P, Raven, J, Pisani, D & , A, 2017, ‘Early photosynthetic eukaryotes inhabited low salinity habitats’. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol 114., pp. E7737-E7745


    Although it is widely accepted that the chrloroplasts in photosynthetic eukaryotes can be traced back to a single cyanobacterial ancestor, the nature of that ancestor remains debated. Chloroplasts have been proposed to derive from either early- or late-branching cyanobacterial lineages, and similarly, the timing and ecological setting of this event remain uncertain. Phylogenomic and Bayesian relaxed molecular clock analyses show that the chloroplast lineage branched deep within the cyanobacterial tree of life ∼2.1 billion y ago, and ancestral trait reconstruction places this event in low-salinity environments. The chloroplast took another 200 My to become established, with most extant groups originating much later. Our analyses help to illuminate the little known evolutionary history of early life on land.

    Full details in the University publications repository