Emerald Green Sea Slug Steals Genes from Algae to Photosynthesize Like a Plant

February 6, 2015 11:46 AM

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A brilliant-green sea slug can manage to live for months at a time without swallowing a morsel. Instead, it lives off of sunlight, like a plant. Now, scientists have figured out exactly how this sea slug managed the extraordinary feat; it turns out that it steals genes from algae.

The sea slug actually eats algae, and scientists suspected that the slug managed to develop its bright green color by snagging a few of the algae's genes. That's why the researchers used an advanced imaging technique to confirm that a gene from the alga V. litorea was present in the slug's chromosom...

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