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Inference of the phylogenetic position of oxymonads based on nine genes: Support for metamonada and Excavata

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor T. Martin Embley FMedSci FRS


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Circumscribing major eukaryote groups and resolving higher order relationships between them are among the most challenging tasks facing molecular evolutionists. Recently, evidence suggesting a new supergroup (the Excavata) comprising a wide array of flagellates has been collected. This group consists of diplomonads, retortamonads, Carpediemonas, heteroloboseans, Trimastix, jakobids, and Malawimonas, all of which possess a particular type of ventral feeding groove that is proposed to be homologous. Euglenozoans, parabasalids, and oxymonads have also been associated with Excavata as their relationships to one or more core excavate taxa were demonstrated. However, the main barrier to the general acceptance of Excavata is that its existence is founded primarily on cytoskeletal similarities, without consistent support from molecular phylogenetics. In gene trees, Excavata are typically not recovered together. In this paper, we present an analysis of the phylogenetic position of oxymonads (genus Monocercomonoides) based on concatenation of eight protein sequences (α-tubulin, β-tubulin, γ-tubulin, EF-1α, EF-2, cytosolic (cyt) HSP70, HSP90, and ubiquitin) and 18S rRNA. We demonstrate that the genes are in conflict regarding the position of oxymonads. Concatenation of α- and β-tubulin placed oxymonads in the plant-chromist part of the tree, while the concatenation of other genes recovered a well-supported group of Metamonada (oxymonads, diplomonads, and parabasalids) that branched weakly with euglenozoans - connecting all four excavates included in the analyses and thus providing conditional support for the existence of Excavata. © The Author 2005. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hampl V, Horner DS, Dyal P, Kulda J, Flegr J, Foster PG, Embley TM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Molecular Biology and Evolution

Year: 2005

Volume: 22

Issue: 12

Pages: 2508-2518

Print publication date: 01/12/2005

ISSN (print): 0737-4038

ISSN (electronic): 1537-1719

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msi245

PubMed id: 16120804


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