Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants

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Monday September 19, 2022, 9:30 am CEST


Kevin C. WAKEMAN1* 

Patterns of Evolution and Diversity of Symbiotic Marine Alveolates

1 Institute for the Advancement of Higher Education, Hokkaido University, Japan


Alveolates are a diverse group of single celled eukaryotes (protists) that have been traditionally defined by three major groups: apicomplexans, dinoflagellates, and ciliates. More contemporary work on select alveolate lineages (i.e., early diverging parasitic lineages) has let researchers in this field revisit some of the earliest stages of alveolate evolution. In this talk, I will give a brief introduction to alveolate lineages, covering some of the recent advances in the field. In particular, I will discuss on-going themes related to the early diversification and host specificity of parasitic alveolates within the genera Haplozoon, and Platyproteum. Here, I will present some preliminary work that highlights coevolutionary patterns (host specificity) between these parasites and their hosts. I will also cover some of the character evolution of these groups that make them intriguing models for understanding the early evolution of alveolates and the independent evolutionary transition from a free-living (photosynthetic) ancestor to an obligate parasitic niche.