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Proposal of the reverse flow model for the origin of the eukaryotic cell based on comparative analyses of Asgard archaeal metabolism
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Molecular Evolution. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6518-8556
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Molecular Evolution. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6650-0970
NIOZ, Royal Netherlands Inst Sea Res, Dept Marine Microbiol & Biogeochem, Ab Den Burg, Netherlands;Univ Utrecht, Ab Den Burg, Netherlands;Univ Texas Austin, Inst Marine Sci, Dept Marine Sci, Port Aransas, TX USA.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Molecular Evolution. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0510-8868
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2019 (English)In: Nature Microbiology, E-ISSN 2058-5276, Vol. 4, no 7, p. 1138-1148Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The origin of eukaryotes represents an unresolved puzzle in evolutionary biology. Current research suggests that eukaryotes evolved from a merger between a host of archaeal descent and an alphaproteobacterial endosymbiont. The discovery of the Asgard archaea, a proposed archaeal superphylum that includes Lokiarchaeota, Thorarchaeota, Odinarchaeota and Heimdallarchaeota suggested to comprise the closest archaeal relatives of eukaryotes, has helped to elucidate the identity of the putative archaeal host. Whereas Lokiarchaeota are assumed to employ a hydrogen-dependent metabolism, little is known about the metabolic potential of other members of the Asgard superphylum. We infer the central metabolic pathways of Asgard archaea using comparative genomics and phylogenetics to be able to refine current models for the origin of eukaryotes. Our analyses indicate that Thorarchaeota and Lokiarchaeota encode proteins necessary for carbon fixation via the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway and for obtaining reducing equivalents from organic substrates. By contrast, Heimdallarchaeum LC2 and LC3 genomes encode enzymes potentially enabling the oxidation of organic substrates using nitrate or oxygen as electron acceptors. The gene repertoire of Heimdallarchaeum AB125 and Odinarchaeum indicates that these organisms can ferment organic substrates and conserve energy by coupling ferredoxin reoxidation to respiratory proton reduction. Altogether, our genome analyses suggest that Asgard representatives are primarily organoheterotrophs with variable capacity for hydrogen consumption and production. On this basis, we propose the 'reverse flow model', an updated symbiogenetic model for the origin of eukaryotes that involves electron or hydrogen flow from an organoheterotrophic archaeal host to a bacterial symbiont.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP , 2019. Vol. 4, no 7, p. 1138-1148
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Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-393531DOI: 10.1038/s41564-019-0406-9ISI: 000480348200010PubMedID: 30936488OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-393531DiVA, id: diva2:1354090
Funder
EU, European Research Council, 310039-PUZZLE_CELLSwedish Foundation for Strategic Research , SSF-FFL5Swedish Research Council, 2015-04959Swedish Research Council, 2016-03559Australian Research Council, DE170100310Australian Research Council, DP180101762Available from: 2019-09-24 Created: 2019-09-24 Last updated: 2019-09-24Bibliographically approved

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Spang, AnjaStairs, Courtney W.Eme, LauraLombard, JonathanCaceres, Eva F.Ettema, Thijs J. G.

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