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PLoS One. 2007 Aug 29;2(8):e790.

Phylogenomics reshuffles the eukaryotic supergroups.

Author information

  • 1Department of Zoology and Animal Biology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. Fabien.Burki@zoo.unige.ch

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Resolving the phylogenetic relationships between eukaryotes is an ongoing challenge of evolutionary biology. In recent years, the accumulation of molecular data led to a new evolutionary understanding, in which all eukaryotic diversity has been classified into five or six supergroups. Yet, the composition of these large assemblages and their relationships remain controversial.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPLE FINDINGS:

Here, we report the sequencing of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) for two species belonging to the supergroup Rhizaria and present the analysis of a unique dataset combining 29908 amino acid positions and an extensive taxa sampling made of 49 mainly unicellular species representative of all supergroups. Our results show a very robust relationship between Rhizaria and two main clades of the supergroup chromalveolates: stramenopiles and alveolates. We confirm the existence of consistent affinities between assemblages that were thought to belong to different supergroups of eukaryotes, thus not sharing a close evolutionary history.

CONCLUSIONS:

This well supported phylogeny has important consequences for our understanding of the evolutionary history of eukaryotes. In particular, it questions a single red algal origin of the chlorophyll-c containing plastids among the chromalveolates. We propose the abbreviated name 'SAR' (Stramenopiles+Alveolates+Rhizaria) to accommodate this new super assemblage of eukaryotes, which comprises the largest diversity of unicellular eukaryotes.

PMID:
17726520
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1949142
Free PMC Article

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