Red algae steal genes from bacteria to cope with environmental stresses: Research could lead to designer algae that produces fuels and cleanup chemicals

It's a case of grand larceny that could lead to new fuels and cleanup chemicals. Ten species of red algae stole about 1 percent of their genes from bacteria to cope with toxic metals and salt stress in hot springs, according to a new study. These red algal species, known as Cyanidiales, also stole many genes that allow them to absorb and process different sources of carbon in the environment to provide additional sources of energy and supplement their photosynthetic lifestyle.