• The authors present the first direct evidence that the emerald green sea slug’s chromosomes have some genes that come from the algae it eats.
  • Importantly, this is one of the only known examples of functional gene transfer from one multicellular species to another, which is the goal of gene therapy to correct genetically based diseases in humans.
  • The team used an advanced imaging technique to confirm that a gene from the alga V. litorea is present on the E. chlorotica slug’s chromosome. This gene makes an enzyme that is critical to the function of photosynthetic “machines” called chloroplasts, which are typically found in plants and algae.

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