The phylogenetic position of the glaucophyte algae within the eukaryotic supergroup Plantae remains to be unambiguously established. Here, we assembled a multigene data set of conserved nuclear-encoded plastid-targeted proteins of cyanobacterial origin (i.e., through primary endosymbiotic gene transfer) from glaucophyte, red, and green (including land plants) algae to infer the branching order within this supergroup. We find strong support for the early divergence of glaucophytes within the Plantae, corroborating 2 important putatively ancestral characters shared by glaucophyte plastids and the cyanobacterial endosymbiont that gave rise to this organelle: the presence of a peptidoglycan deposition between the 2 organelle membranes and carboxysomes. Both these traits were apparently lost in the common ancestor of red and green algae after the divergence of glaucophytes.
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