Tetrapyrrole Synthesis of Photosynthetic Chromerids Is Likely Homologous to the Unusual Pathway of Apicomplexan Parasites

Ludek Koreny, Roman Sobotka, Jan Janouskovec, Patrick J. Keeling, Miroslav Obornik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Abstract Most photosynthetic eukaryotes synthesize both heme and chlorophyll via a common tetrapyrrole biosynthetic pathway starting from glutamate. This pathway was derived mainly from cyanobacterial predecessor of the plastid and differs from the heme synthesis of the plastid-lacking eukaryotes. Here, we show that the coral-associated alveolate Chromera velia, the closest known photosynthetic relative to Apicomplexa, possesses a tetrapyrrole pathway that is homologous to the unusual pathway of apicomplexan parasites. We also demonstrate that, unlike other eukaryotic phototrophs, Chromera synthesizes chlorophyll from glycine and succinyl-CoA rather than glutamate. Our data shed light on the evolution of the heme biosynthesis in parasitic Apicomplexa and photosynthesis-related biochemical processes in their ancestors.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3454-3462
Number of pages9
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-09-16
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): IC/2010/09
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Czech Science Foundation (GA206/08/1423), the Grant Agency of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (IAA601410907), by Award IC/2010/09 made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, by the project Algatech (CZ.1.05/2.1.00/03.0110), and by the Grant Agency of University of South Bohemia (GAJU 146/2010/P) to M.O.; by Institutional Research Concept AV0Z50200510 to R.S.; and by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (MOP42517) to P.J.K. P.J.K. is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and a Senior Scholar of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


Dive into the research topics of 'Tetrapyrrole Synthesis of Photosynthetic Chromerids Is Likely Homologous to the Unusual Pathway of Apicomplexan Parasites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this