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Genomics and chloroplast evolution: what did cyanobacteria do for plants?

John A Raven1* and John F Allen2

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Environmental and Applied Biology, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, UK

2 Department of Plant Biochemistry, Center for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Box 124, Lund University, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden

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Genome Biology 2003, 4:209  doi:10.1186/gb-2003-4-3-209

Published: 3 March 2003


The complete genome sequences of cyanobacteria and of the higher plant Arabidopsis thaliana leave no doubt that the plant chloroplast originated, through endosymbiosis, from a cyanobacterium. But the genomic legacy of cyanobacterial ancestry extends far beyond the chloroplast itself, and persists in organisms that have lost chloroplasts completely.