Gloeomargarita lithophora

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Gloeomargarita lithophora
Scientific classification
G. lithophora
Binomial name
Gloeomargarita lithophora

Gloeomargarita lithophora is a cyanobacteria, and is the proposed sister of the plastids in the Eukaryote Archaeplastida. Gloemargarita's ancestor would have ended up in the ancestral Archeaplastida through a singular Endosymbiotic event some ~1400 million years ago.[1] These plastids have appeared in other eukaryotes as the Archaeplastida have become endosymbionts themselves repeatedly. The importance of this event for life on earth is of course impossible to overstate, even though the Great Oxygenation Event appears to have occurred before. Gloemargarita appears related to a (basal) Synechococcus branch.[2][3][4] A similar endosymbiotic event occurred about 500 million years ago, with another Synechococcus related bacteria appearing in Paulinella chromatophora.[4]


G. lithophora was first isolated in 2007 from microbiolate samples taken from alkaline Lake Alchichica (Mexico). These samples were maintained in a lab aquarium and G. lithophora was isolated from biofilm that occurred within the aquarium. G. lithophora are gram-negative, unicellular rods with oxygenic photoautotrophic metabolism and gliding motility. They contain chlorophyll a and phycocyanin and photosynthetic thylakoids located peripherall. Cells are 1.1 μm wide and 3.9 μm long on average. Growth occurred in both liquid and solid BG-11 growth media, as well as in alkaline water. Optimal growth temperature is 25 °C and optimal growth pH is 8-8.5.[5]


  1. ^ Betts, Holly C.; Puttick, Mark N.; Clark, James W.; Williams, Tom A.; Donoghue, Philip C. J.; Pisani, Davide (2018-08-20). "Integrated genomic and fossil evidence illuminates life's early evolution and eukaryote origin". Nature Ecology & Evolution. 2 (10): 1556–1562. doi:10.1038/s41559-018-0644-x. ISSN 2397-334X. PMC 6152910. PMID 30127539.
  2. ^ Saw, Jimmy H. W.; Schatz, Michael; Brown, Mark V.; Kunkel, Dennis D.; Foster, Jamie S.; Shick, Harry; Christensen, Stephanie; Hou, Shaobin; Wan, Xuehua (2013-10-23). "Cultivation and Complete Genome Sequencing of Gloeobacter kilaueensis sp. nov., from a Lava Cave in Kīlauea Caldera, Hawai'i". PLOS ONE. 8 (10): e76376. Bibcode:2013PLoSO...876376S. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076376. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3806779. PMID 24194836.
  3. ^ Ponce-Toledo, Rafael I.; Deschamps, Philippe; López-García, Purificación; Zivanovic, Yvan; Benzerara, Karim; Moreira, David (2017). "An Early-Branching Freshwater Cyanobacterium at the Origin of Plastids". Current Biology. 27 (3): 386–391. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.11.056. ISSN 0960-9822. PMC 5650054. PMID 28132810.
  4. ^ a b Sánchez-Baracaldo, Patricia; Raven, John A.; Pisani, Davide; Knoll, Andrew H. (2017-09-12). "Early photosynthetic eukaryotes inhabited low-salinity habitats". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 114 (37): E7737–E7745. doi:10.1073/pnas.1620089114. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 5603991. PMID 28808007.
  5. ^ Moreira, David; Tavera, Rosaluz; Benzerara, Karim; Skouri-Panet, Fériel; Couradeau, Estelle; Gérard, Emmanuelle; Loussert Fonta, Céline; Novela, Eberto; Zivanovic, Yvan; López-García, Purificación (2017-04-01). "Description of Gloeomargarita lithophora gen. nov., sp. nov., a thylakoid-bearing basal-branching cyanobacterium with intracellular carbonates, and proposal for Gloeomargaritales ord. nov". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 67 (3): 653–658. doi:10.1099/ijsem.0.001679. PMC 5669459. PMID 27902306.