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Early branching eukaryotes?

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor T. Martin Embley FMedSci FRSORCiD, Professor Robert HirtORCiD


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Recent phylogenetic analyses suggest that Giardia, Trichomonas and Microsporidia contain genes of mitochondrial origin and are thus unlikely to be primitively amitochondriate as previously thought. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses of multiple data sets suggest that Microsporidia are related to Fungi rather than being deep branching as depicted in trees based upon SSUrRNA analyses. There is also room for doubt, on the basis of a lack of consistent support from analyses of other genes, whether Giardia or Trichomonas branch before other eukaryotes. So, at present, we cannot be sure which eukaryotes are descendants of the earliest-branching organisms in the eukaryote tree. Future resolution of the order of emergence of eukaryotes will depend upon a more critical phylogenetic analysis of new and existing data than hitherto. Hypotheses of branching order should preferably be based upon congruence between independent data sets, rather than on single gene trees.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Embley TM; Hirt RP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development

Year: 1998

Volume: 8

Issue: 6

Pages: 624-629

Print publication date: 01/12/1998

ISSN (print): 0959-437X

ISSN (electronic): 1879-0380

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/S0959-437X(98)80029-4


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