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1.  Evolving a photosynthetic organelle 
BMC Biology  2012;10:35.
The evolution of plastids from cyanobacteria is believed to represent a singularity in the history of life. The enigmatic amoeba Paulinella and its 'recently' acquired photosynthetic inclusions provide a fascinating system through which to gain fresh insight into how endosymbionts become organelles.
The plastids, or chloroplasts, of algae and plants evolved from cyanobacteria by endosymbiosis. This landmark event conferred on eukaryotes the benefits of photosynthesis - the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy - and in so doing had a huge impact on the course of evolution and the climate of Earth [1]. From the present state of plastids, however, it is difficult to trace the evolutionary steps involved in this momentous development, because all modern-day plastids have fully integrated into their hosts. Paulinella chromatophora is a unicellular eukaryote that bears photosynthetic entities called chromatophores that are derived from cyanobacteria and has thus received much attention as a possible example of an organism in the early stages of organellogenesis. Recent studies have unlocked the genomic secrets of its chromatophore [2,3] and provided concrete evidence that the Paulinella chromatophore is a bona fide photosynthetic organelle [4]. The question is how Paulinella can help us to understand the process by which an endosymbiont is converted into an organelle.
doi:10.1186/1741-7007-10-35
PMCID: PMC3337241  PMID: 22531210
2.  Gene transfer: anything goes in plant mitochondria 
BMC Biology  2010;8:147.
Parasitic plants and their hosts have proven remarkably adept at exchanging fragments of mitochondrial DNA. Two recent studies provide important mechanistic insights into the pattern, process and consequences of horizontal gene transfer, demonstrating that genes can be transferred in large chunks and that gene conversion between foreign and native genes leads to intragenic mosaicism. A model involving duplicative horizontal gene transfer and differential gene conversion is proposed as a hitherto unrecognized source of genetic diversity.
See research article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/8/150
doi:10.1186/1741-7007-8-147
PMCID: PMC3008690  PMID: 21176244
3.  Plastid evolution: gene transfer and the maintenance of 'stolen' organelles 
BMC Biology  2010;8:73.
Many heterotrophic organisms sequester plastids from prey algae and temporarily utilize their photosynthetic capacity. A recent article in BMC Genomics reveals that the dinoflagellate Dinophysis acuminata has acquired photosynthesis-related genes by horizontal gene transfer, which might explain its ability to retain 'stolen' plastids for extended periods of time.
See research article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/11/366
doi:10.1186/1741-7007-8-73
PMCID: PMC2883544  PMID: 20594287

Results 1-3 (3)