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Peroxisomes and the evolution of compartmentalization in complex eukaryotic cells

  Dr. Daniel Moog, Jana Vasilev


Compartmentalization is a key factor to the evolutionary success of eukaryotic cells. Peroxisomes are dynamic, metabolically versatile subcellular compartments present in the majority of eukaryotes. Their most common functions are cellular detoxification mechanisms and fatty acid oxidation. Beyond these, peroxisomes can participate in various metabolic activities, which are often separated between different cellular compartments. Thus, peroxisomes play an important role in cellular protection, metabolic interconnectivity and biochemistry in eukaryotes.

So far, studies on peroxisomes have mainly focused on model organisms such as yeast, higher plants and mammals; very little is known about the functions of these compartments in the diversity of eukaryotic microorganisms. We are using bioinformatics as well as cell and synthetic biology methods to study peroxisomes in eukaryotic microorganisms that evolved by endosymbiosis between two different eukaryotic cells. Our main focus is on photosynthetic microalgae, such as cryptophytes and chlorarachniophytes, which harbor complex plastids of red or green algal origin. Moreover, we are studying peroxisomes in Paramoeba species - parasitic amoebae that contain an obligate kinetoplastid endosymbiont, called Perkinsela sp., within their cytoplasm.

Our long term goal is to understand the cell biology and metabolic diversity of peroxisomes in non-model organism eukaryotes and how these enigmatic organelles have contributed to the evolution of compartmentalization in eukaryotic cells.

 

 

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Zuletzt aktualisiert: 21.12.2018 · hempelfr

 
 
 
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