Barbara Schoenfeld

Doctor of Philosophy, (Evolutionary Biology)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
The pattern and processes of genome change in endosymbionts old and new

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Bacterial endosymbionts are an important part of eukaryote evolution as they allow eukaryotes to exploit bacterial abilities. Plastids, the photosynthetic organelles of plants and eukaryotic algae are ancient cyanobacterial endosymbionts. I have compiled a comprehensive dataset of fully sequenced plastid genomes to systematically study the frequency of gene transfers from the plastid to the nucleus across the different lineages. My calculations show that gene losses have occurred at a relative high frequency and in a lineage specific way. This challenges the idea that gene transfers from the organelle to the nucleus are rare and chance driven events.

Professor Peter Lockhart
Dr Lesley Collins