Mary Guisinger


I am interested in the evolution of genomes, specifically chloroplast (plastid) genomes in flowering plants. Plastids arose more than 1.2 billion years ago through the endosymbiosis of a non-photosynthetic, mitochondria-containing eukaryote and a photosynthetic cyanobacterium. While the ancestral bacterium contained thousands of genes, the plastid genomes of angiosperms are highly reduced and conserved. A few groups of land plants have experienced relatively recent (<80 million years ago) genomic change, and I use these groups to study genome change and molecular evolution.