Organelles that allow glaucocystophytes (q.v.) to perform photosynthesis. Cyanelles occupy an intermediate level of symbiotic integration between free-living cyanobacteria (q.v.) and chloroplasts (q.v.). Both cyanobacteria and cyanelles contain chlorophyll a. The genomes of cyanelles are about one-tenth the size of free-living cyanobacteria, but they are similar in size to the genomes of the chloroplasts of plants. The DNA genome in each cyanelle is present in about 60 copies. Unlike the situation in plants, where the large subunit of RuBisCO is encoded by chloroplast genes and the small subunit by nuclear genes, both subunits are encoded by the cyanelle genomes. See ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase (RuBisCO), serial symbiosis theory.
Subjects: Genetics and Genomics — Chemistry.