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Mol Biol Evol. 2001 Aug;18(8):1551-7.

Foraminifera and Cercozoa are related in actin phylogeny: two orphans find a home?

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Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Department of Botany, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


In recent years, the increased sampling of protein-coding genes from diverse eukaryotes has revealed that many aspects of each gene tree are at odds with other phylogenies. This has led to the belief that each gene tree has unique strengths and weaknesses, suggesting that an accurate picture of eukaryotic relationships will be achieved only through comparative phylogeny using several different genes. To this end, actin genes were characterized from two genera of chlorarachniophytes, Chlorarachnion and Lotharella, and three species of the cercomonad flagellate Cercomonas: Phylogenetic trees including these new actin genes confirm the recently proposed relationship between chlorarachniophytes and cercomonads (Cercozoa) and, more importantly, also show a close relationship between Cercozoa and Foraminifera. Both of these are major eukaryotic groups encompassing extremely diverse organisms, yet there is no strong evidence for the evolutionary position of either from morphological or molecular data. The union of Cercozoa and Foraminifera suggested by actin phylogeny represents a novel step in the long process of determining the broad relationships between all major eukaryotic groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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