Red Alga Borrows Genes to Survive in Extreme Weather: Study

Red Alga Borrows Genes to Survive in Extreme Weather: Study

A study has revealed that the genes taken from the prokaryotes are used by the red alga called Galdieria sulphuraria to survive in the beating heat.

In a report, Gerald Schönknecht of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater and his colleagues said that red alga takes at least five percent of its genes from bacteria and archaea that lives in extreme conditions.

This kind of sharing of genes is rare in eukaryotes and all those organisms that store DNA in their nucleus. Their natural tendency is to evolve by replicating old genes. In this manner it is able to mutate by changing the futile samples. Contrary to this, bacteria and archae are found toggling their genes between each other.

Researchers confirmed the fact by studying the genetic makeup of alga and compared it with other species. In the past, G. sulphuraria took the genes from bacteria and archaea that is now assisting them in coping with the harsh weather.

They confirmed that several genes that were present in red alga were not theirs and were borrowed from others. Galdieria is the first known eukaryote that borrows genes to meet extreme weather conditions.

Matt Kane, program director in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Environmental Biology, which funded the research, said, "This finding extends our understanding of the role that this mechanism plays in evolution to eukaryotic microorganisms".


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