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October 21, 2012
Choanoflagellates, one-celled planktonic marine organisms, are aquatic microbes distinguished by a flagellum (green) used for swimming and feeding and surrounded by a collar of tentacles (red) against which bacterial prey are trapped. The nucleus of the one-celled organism is highlighted in blue. The newly sequenced genome of Monosiga brevicollis, a type of choanoflagellates, is already telling scientists about the evolutionary changes that accompanied the jump from one-celled lifeforms to multicellular animals like ourselves. To learn more about this research, see the University of California, Berkeley, press release, Genome of marine organism tells of animals' one-celled ancestors. (Date of Image: 2007) Credit: Nicole King lab, University of California, Berkeley