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The root of the universal tree and the origin of eukaryotes based on elongation factor phylogeny

Palmer, J.D., Baldauf, S.L. and Doolittle, W.F. (1996) The root of the universal tree and the origin of eukaryotes based on elongation factor phylogeny. PNAS. pp. 7749-7754. ISSN 1091-6490

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The genes for the protein synthesis elongation factors Tu (EF-Tu) and G (EF-G) are the products of an ancient gene duplication, which appears to predate the divergence of all extant organismal lineages. Thus, it should be possible to root a universal phylogeny based on either protein using the second protein as an outgroup. This approach was originally taken independently with two separate gene duplication pairs, (i) the regulatory and catalytic subunits of the proton ATPases and (ii) the protein synthesis elongation factors EF-Tu and EF-G. Questions about the orthology of the ATPase genes have obscured the former results, and the elongation factor data have been criticized for inadequate taxonomic representation and alignment errors. We have expanded the latter analysis using a broad representation of taxa from all three domains of life. All phylogenetic methods used strongly place the root of the universal tree between two highly distinct groups, the archaeons/eukaryotes and the eubacteria. We also find that a combined data set of EF-Tu and EF-G sequences favors placement of the eukaryotes within the Archaea, as the sister group to the Crenarchaeota. This relationship is supported by bootstrap values of 60-89% with various distance and maximum likelihood methods, while unweighted parsimony gives 58% support for archaeal monophyly.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Biology (York)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2005
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2016 21:36
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/530

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