The mosaic nature of the eukaryotic nucleus
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The phylogenies for each of the protein-coding genes from the Methanococcus jannaschii genome were surveyed to determine the history of the major groups of life. For each gene, homologous sequences from other archaea, eucarya, and Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria were collected and aligned, and a phylogeny was reconstructed with a maximum-likelihood algorithm. The majority of significant phylogenies favor the eucarya and the archaca as sister groups. A smaller, but still substantial, portion of these significant phylogenies favor an eucarya/Gram-negative clade. These results indicate that support for the early history of life is not unequivocal. A chimeric origin of eukaryotes or an ancient, massive horizontal transfer of genes from Gram-negative bacteria to eucarya can explain many of the observed phylogenies.
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