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Complex archaea that bridge the gap between prokaryotes and eukaryotes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Molecular Evolution. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Molecular Evolution. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Molecular Evolution. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
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2015 (English)In: Nature, ISSN 0028-0836, E-ISSN 1476-4687, Vol. 521, no 7551, 173-179 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The origin of the eukaryotic cell remains one of the most contentious puzzles in modern biology. Recent studies have provided support for the emergence of the eukaryotic host cell from within the archaeal domain of life, but the identity and nature of the putative archaeal ancestor remain a subject of debate. Here we describe the discovery of 'Lokiarchaeota', a novel candidate archaeal phylum, which forms a monophyletic group with eukaryotes in phylogenomic analyses, and whose genomes encode an expanded repertoire of eukaryotic signature proteins that are suggestive of sophisticated membrane remodelling capabilities. Our results provide strong support for hypotheses in which the eukaryotic host evolved from a bona fide archaeon, and demonstrate that many components that underpin eukaryote-specific features were already present in that ancestor. This provided the host with a rich genomic 'starter-kit' to support the increase in the cellular and genomic complexity that is characteristic of eukaryotes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 521, no 7551, 173-179 p.
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-255067DOI: 10.1038/nature14447ISI: 000354377800049PubMedID: 25945739OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-255067DiVA: diva2:823091
Note

Anja Spang, Jimmy H. Saw, Steffen L. Jørgensen, Katarzyna Zaremba-Niedzwiedzka contributed equally to this work

Lionel Guy and Thijs J. G. Ettema are co-corresponding authors.

Available from: 2015-06-17 Created: 2015-06-12 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Spang, AnjaSaw, Jimmy H.Zaremba-Niedzwiedzka, KatarzynaMartijn, JoranLind, Anders E.Guy, LionelEttema, Thijs J. G.

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Spang, AnjaSaw, Jimmy H.Zaremba-Niedzwiedzka, KatarzynaMartijn, JoranLind, Anders E.Guy, LionelEttema, Thijs J. G.
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Molecular EvolutionScience for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLabDepartment of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology
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