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Fungal Genet Biol. 2003 Apr;38(3):298-309.

Congruent evidence from alpha-tubulin and beta-tubulin gene phylogenies for a zygomycete origin of microsporidia.

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Department of Botany, University of British Columbia, 3529-6270 University Boulevard, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.


The origin of microsporidia and the evolutionary relationships among the major lineages of fungi have been examined by molecular phylogeny using alpha-tubulin and beta-tubulin. Chytrids, basidiomycetes, ascomycetes, and microsporidia were all recovered with high support, and the zygomycetes were consistently paraphyletic. The microsporidia were found to branch within zygomycetes, and showed relationships with members of the Entomophthorales and Zoopagales. This provides support for the microsporidia having evolved from within the fungi, however, the tubulin genes are difficult to interpret unambiguously since fungal and microsporidian tubulins are very divergent. Rapid evolutionary rates a characteristic of practically all microsporidian genes studied, so determining their evolutionary history will never be completely free of such difficulties. While the tubulin phylogenies do not provide a decisive conclusion, they do further narrow the probable origin of microsporidia to a zygomycete-like ancestor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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