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Trends Ecol Evol. 2015 Nov;30(11):697-708. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2015.09.005. Epub 2015 Oct 8.

Open Questions on the Origin of Eukaryotes.

Author information

1
Unité d'Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Université Paris-Sud/Paris-Saclay, AgroParisTech, 91405 Orsay, France. Electronic address: puri.lopez@u-psud.fr.
2
Unité d'Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Université Paris-Sud/Paris-Saclay, AgroParisTech, 91405 Orsay, France.

Abstract

Despite recent progress, the origin of the eukaryotic cell remains enigmatic. It is now known that the last eukaryotic common ancestor was complex and that endosymbiosis played a crucial role in eukaryogenesis at least via the acquisition of the alphaproteobacterial ancestor of mitochondria. However, the nature of the mitochondrial host is controversial, although the recent discovery of an archaeal lineage phylogenetically close to eukaryotes reinforces models proposing archaea-derived hosts. We argue that, in addition to improved phylogenomic analyses with more comprehensive taxon sampling to pinpoint the closest prokaryotic relatives of eukaryotes, determining plausible mechanisms and selective forces at the origin of key eukaryotic features, such as the nucleus or the bacterial-like eukaryotic membrane system, is essential to constrain existing models.

KEYWORDS:

archaea; eukaryogenesis; membrane; metabolism; origin of nucleus; symbiosis; syntrophy

PMID:
26455774
PMCID:
PMC4640172
DOI:
10.1016/j.tree.2015.09.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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