An Organism Discovered On The Japanese Seashore Behaves Essay

727 Words Nov 17th, 2015 3 Pages
An organism discovered on the Japanese seashore behaves as a predator and a plant in a bizarre lifecycle that may bring biologists closer to understanding how chloroplasts became part of plant cells, according to a study from the University of Tsukuba.
Before understanding how this mysterious single-celled organism works, it had to be given a proper scientific name. Analysis of its cellular structure and genetic profile showed that it is most closely related to organisms assigned to the genus Katablepharis. However, electron microscopy revealed certain quirky features that are not consistent with Katablepharis classification. These features include a compressed-oval cellular shape, an unmistakable crawling motion, and a feeding structure composed of only one layer of microtubules. To accommodate the organism’s unusual combination of traits, the study created a genus called Hatena specifically for the organism, and formally named it Hatena arenicola.
In addition to being one-of-a-kind, the H. arenicola has a surprising symbiotic relationship with a type of green alga known as Nephroselmis. The relationship is called endosymbiotic because it requires that Nephroselmis be living within the H. arenicola cell. When engulfed, the green alga symbiont uses photosynthesis to produce energy for itself and its host. This situation is strikingly similar to a well-supported theory stating that chloroplasts developed from photosynthetic bacterial cells that were engulfed by a larger…

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