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Evidence that the Root of the Tree of Life is not within


the Archaea

Posted: September 21, 2006


Evidence that the Root of the Tree of Life is not within the Archaea

Ryan G. Skophammer 1, Craig W. Herbold 2, Maria C. Rivera 1, Jacqueline A. Servin 2, and James A. Lake 3 *

1 Department of MCD Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA; UCLA Astrobiology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
2 Molecular Biology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA; UCLA Astrobiology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
3 Department of MCD Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA; Molecular Biology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA; Department of Human Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA; UCLA Astrobiology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
James A. Lake, E-mail: Lake(at)mbi.ucla.edu

Abstract:

"The Archaea occupy uncommon and extreme habitats around the world. They manufacture unusual compounds, utilize novel metabolic pathways, and contain many unique genes. Many suspect, due to their novel properties, that the root of the tree of life may be within the Archaea, although there is little direct evidence for this root. Here, using gene insertions and deletions found within protein synthesis factors present in all prokaryotes and eukaryotes, we present statistically significant evidence that the root of life is outside the Archaea."

 

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