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Mol Biol Evol. 2008 Jan;25(1):1-4. Epub 2007 Nov 13.

Evidence excluding the root of the tree of life from the actinobacteria.


The Actinobacteria are found in aquatic and terrestrial habitats throughout the world and are among the most morphologically varied prokaryotes. They manufacture unusual compounds, utilize novel metabolic pathways, and contain unique genes. This diversity may suggest that the root of the tree of life could be within the Actinobacteria, although there is little or no convincing evidence for such a root. Here, using gene insertions and deletions found in the DNA gyrase, GyrA, and in the paralogous DNA topoisomerase, ParC, we present evidence that the root of life is outside the Actinobacteria.

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