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Study Sheds Light Into How Green Algae Engulfed Bacteria Billions Of Years Ago

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A team of researchers has captured images of green alga consuming bacteria, offering a glimpse at how early organisms dating back more than one billion years may have acquired free-living photosynthetic cells.

This acquisition is thought to have been a critical first step in the evolution of photosynthetic algae and land plants, which, in turn, contributed to the increase in oxygen levels in Earth’s atmosphere and ocean and provided one of the conditions necessary for animal evolution.

In the study published in Current Biology, researchers identify a mechanism by which a green alga that resembles early ancestors of the group engulfs bacteria, providing conclusive evidence for a process that had been proposed but not definitely shown.
 
 

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