The red alga known as Galdieria sulphuraria, which thrives under the hot, toxic conditions of volcanic sulfur springs, acquired many of the genes it needs to survive such hostile environments from simpler organisms, like bacteria and archaea, according to a new study. Although most eukaryotes, or organisms with complex cellular structures, such as G. sulphuraria, rely on gene duplication to evolve, this particular alga seems to have commandeered at least 75 genes via a process known as horizontal gene transfer.
Read more about this research from the 8 March issue of Science here.
[Image courtesy of Christine Oesterhelt. Click the image for more information.]