Genomic Comparison Of The Membranes Of Flagellated And Non-Flagellated Eukaryotes

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Abstract Summary

Flagella are ‘whip-like’ extensions of the cell membrane with an inner core of microtubules arranged in a specific 9+2 configuration. Majority of Eukaryotic use flagella for movement. Flagella have several components: radial spokes, transition zone, centriole, membrane, central pair apparatus, inner dynein, outer dynein, and intraflagellar transport. This study investigates the nature of membrane structure in flagellated and non flagellated eukaryotes. Genome and transcriptome data were used to inventory genes associated with membranes of flagellum using a reference genome as a query. The goal of this study is to see if non-flagellated amoebae retain similar membrane gene composition as as flagellated eukaryotes. A python custom scripted based on Blast was used to conduct the gene inventory. Results showed that flagellated species had an average of 36% membrane gene detections, while the non-flagellated species had an average around 38%. This finding suggests that the genetic composition membranes in non-flagellated amoebae and flagellated eukaryotes is evolutionarily conserved. Furthermore, the identification of pairs of closely related species where these structures were maintained in one organism and lost from the other may provide additional insights into how cellular structures and genes are lost during evolution.

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