The chloroplast genomes of the pennate diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum and the centric diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana have been completely sequenced and are compared with those of other secondary plastids of the red lineage: the centric diatom Odontella sinensis, the haptophyte Emiliania huxleyi, and the cryptophyte Guillardia theta. All five chromist genomes are compact, with small intergenic regions and no introns. The three diatom genomes are similar in gene content with 127-1.30 protein-coding genes, and genes for 27 tRNAs, three ribosomal RNAs and two small RNAs (tmRNA and signal recognition particle RNA). All three genomes have open-reading frames corresponding to ORFs148, 355 and 380 of O. sinensis, which have been assigned the names ycf88, ycj89 and ycJ90. Gene order is not strictly conserved, but there are a number of conserved gene clusters showing remnants of red algal origin. The acpP, tsf and psb28 genes appear to be on the way from the plastid to the host nucleus, indicating that endosymbiotic gene transfer is a continuing process.