Tetrapyrrole Synthesis of Photosynthetic Chromerids Is Likely Homologous to the Unusual Pathway of Apicomplexan Parasites

Ludek Koreny, Roman Sobotka, Jan Janouskovec, Patrick J. Keeling, Miroslav Obornik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

Abstract Most photosynthetic eukaryotes synthesize both heme and chlorophyll via a common tetrapyrrole biosynthetic pathway starting from glutamate. This pathway was derived mainly from cyanobacterial predecessor of the plastid and differs from the heme synthesis of the plastid-lacking eukaryotes. Here, we show that the coral-associated alveolate Chromera velia, the closest known photosynthetic relative to Apicomplexa, possesses a tetrapyrrole pathway that is homologous to the unusual pathway of apicomplexan parasites. We also demonstrate that, unlike other eukaryotic phototrophs, Chromera synthesizes chlorophyll from glycine and succinyl-CoA rather than glutamate. Our data shed light on the evolution of the heme biosynthesis in parasitic Apicomplexa and photosynthesis-related biochemical processes in their ancestors.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3454-3462
Number of pages9
JournalPLANT CELL
Volume23
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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