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Mol Biol Evol. 2006 Sep;23(9):1648-51. Epub 2006 Jun 26.

Evidence that the root of the tree of life is not within the Archaea.


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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