By Punter, E. and Manitoba Conservation Data Centre

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Brown” chloroplasts are found not only in the brown algae proper, but also in diatoms, some dinolagellates, and a few additional groups. Brown algae are mostly complex, multicellular, seaweeds (Fig. 7), the largest being the giant kelps that form underwater forests along the Paciic coast of the United States. Diatoms are a highly eccentric group of photosynthetic protists that build ornamented, overlapping glass shells around themselves (Fig. 8), and are so abundant that they oten leave massive deposits (diatomaceous earth) that can be mined and used as an abrasive.

And in obtaining that small fraction, the long hours of sunbathing would subject us to massive skin damage and the risk of cancer. While the idea of photosynthetic humans may be far-fetched, there are, amazingly, some animals that have managed to retroit themselves to live like plants, including the sea slugs pictured above (Fig. 1). hey do so by salvaging chloroplasts from the algae they eat, and maintaining them within their tissues. Chloroplasts are the discrete cellular organelles that conduct photosynthesis in eukaryotic algae and land plants.

He cyanobacteria thrived, leaving an abundant fossil record for the past 3 billion years and a continued massive presence today. he sulfur users were and still are strictly limited to rare sulfurous habitats and have let few fossils. Horizontal gene transfer his brief and greatly simpliied account of photosynthesis is provided in order to answer the question of how it came about in the irst place. We are accustomed to thinking of evolution as proceeding through the painstaking process of random mutation, followed by many generations of natural selection.

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