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Photo of Adrián Reyes-Prieto

Adrián Reyes-Prieto

Adrián Reyes-Prieto is interested in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the establishment of endosymbiotic associations. He studies the origin and evolution of photosynthetic organelles in microbial eukaryotes. In recent years, comparative genomic studies from different photosynthetic eukaryotes and their non-photosynthetic relatives have yielded insights on critical processes involved in the transformation of free-living cells into obligated endosymbionts, such as gene transference, genome reduction mechanisms, and potential cases of multiple and subsequent endosymbioses.

Plantae are extant algae bearing plastids surrounded by two membranes, and include Glaucophytes, red algae and Viridiplantae (green algae and land plants). It has been hypothesized that Plantae (also called Archaeplastida) are descended from a unique common ancestor that recruited endosymbiotic cyanobacteria more than a billion years in the past. Testing this hypothesis of common origin of Plantae is essential to elucidating the emergence of the first photosynthetic eukaryotes. One avenue to study this hypothesis is through comparative studies of the genetic and protein repertoires from different Plantae lineages. Green algae and land plants have been thoroughly studied in this respect, but much work remains for red algae and Glaucophytes.


NSERC Discovery Grant, 2011.

Canada Foundation for Innovation Leaders Opportunity Fund, 2001.

Relevant Publications

A. Reyes-Prieto and A. Moustafa, "Plastid-localized amino acid biosynthetic pathways of Plantae are predominantly composed of non-cyanobacterial enzymes," Sci Rep., vol. 2, pp. 955, 2012.




Fellow Integrated Microbial Biodiversity


University of New BrunswickDepartment of Biology


PhD (Biomedical sciences) National Autonomous University of Mexico

BS (Biology) National Autonomous University of Mexico



Ideas Related to Adrián Reyes-Prieto

Announcement | Integrated Microbial Biodiversity

Marine algae can sense the rainbow

A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has shown for the first time that several types of...

News | Integrated Microbial Biodiversity

Not all phytoplankton in the ocean need to take their vitamins

Some species of marine phytoplankton, such as the prolific bloomer Emiliania huxleyi, can grow without consuming vitamin B1 (thiamine), researchers...