Fritz-Laylin, Lillian K., Ginger, Michael L., Walsh, Charles, Dawson, Scott C. and Fulton, Chandler (2011) The Naegleria genome: a free-living microbial eukaryote lends unique insights into core eukaryotic cell biology. Research in Microbiology, 162 (6). pp. 607-618. ISSN 0923-2508

Naegleria gruberi, a free-living protist, has long been treasured as a model for basal body and flagellar assembly due to its ability to differentiate from crawling amoebae into swimming flagellates. The full genome sequence of Naegleria gruberi has recently been used to estimate gene families ancestral to all eukaryotes and to identify novel aspects of Naegleria biology, including likely facultative anaerobic metabolism, extensive signaling cascades, and evidence for sexuality. Distinctive features of the Naegleria genome and nuclear biology provide unique perspectives for comparative cell biology, including cell division, RNA processing and nucleolar assembly. We highlight here exciting new and novel aspects of Naegleria biology identified through genomic analysis.

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