Sea Slug Uses Gene from Algae to Live Like a Plant

February 4, 2015 9:13 PM

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A gene that comes from the algae it eats has been found on the chromosome of a green sea slug, a discovery that paints a clearer picture for researchers of how the slug is able to live like a plant for long periods and get nourishment it needs from the sun.

In a new study, a team The Marine Biological Laboratory used advanced imaging to spot a gene from the alga Vaucheria litorea on the chromosome of Elysia chlorotica, the emerald sea slug. The gene is key to helping the slug sustain the photosynthetic processes that feed it.

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