Akman, L. Archibald, J. Concepts and Controversies , Sapp, J.
Polytomy identification in microbial phylogenetic reconstruction
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Microbial Phylogeny and Evolution: Concepts and Controversies
Gray, M. Hansen, A.
- Dark Side of the Moon.
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Hurst, G. Ilinsky, Y. Ilinsky, Yu. Jiggins, F. Jousselin, E. B , , vol. Kikuchi, Y.
Kondo, N. Lus, Ya. Male-less lines in populations, Dokl. Nauk SSSR , , vol. Majerus, M. Press, Majerus, T. Malogolowkin, C. Montchamp-Moreau, C. Munson, M. Nikoh, N. Rasgon, J.
Two well-balanced and informative chapters that review the current understanding of the origin of mitochondria and plastids are included, which is refreshing after the opinionated and often data-poor chapters on phylogeny and gene transfer. We also get several chapters dealing with the origin of the eukaryotic cell itself, a topic at least as controversial as the role of gene transfer in microbial evolution.
The familiar hypotheses are offered one by one: the genetic annealing model is presented by Woese, Martin promotes his hydrogen hypothesis, Gupta maintains that the eukaryotes arose from a long-term symbiosis between a gram-negative eubacterium and an archaeon, Lake and coworkers take their chance to market their eocyte model for the origin of eukaryotes, and Melnitsky, Rainey, and Margulis argue that their karyomastigont model explains more known facts than any other alternative.
These theories have been presented elsewhere, and the authors present little new data here to support their own hypothesis. However, the origin of eukaryotes remains a central unanswered question in biology, and it is really nice to have these alternative hypotheses compiled in a single book.
It is interesting, although somewhat disappointing, to see that these competing theories are able to coexist in the presence of a huge amount of genome data. The reason, I would say, is that each hypothesis is designed to explain its own set of observations, and that the number of unexplained similarities and differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes remains large.
Hopefully, comparative genomics in combination with cell biology will identify which of these observations are informative about the origin of eukaryotes, and which may be explained by other means. For example, such studies have shown that the ancestor of all eukaryotes already had mitochondria Embley et al. If you are interested in learning about the available competing hypotheses for the origin of eukaryotes, then this book is definitely for you.
I would also recommend it to anyone who would like to have the debate over the influence of LGT on microbial phylogeny nicely compiled into a single source, with the cautionary note that you should not expect to get any up-to-date review of the knowledge of phylogeny, or any deeper understanding of the mechanisms and biological consequences of gene transfer events.
However, this is definitely not a book to pick up to check what a decade of microbial genomics has contributed to science. In fact, if it is read with this intention, it could lead to the false impression that we molecular evolutionists have spent a decade just arguing over controversial issues, resulting in minimal advancement in science! Nevertheless, Microbial Phylogeny and Evolution: Concepts and Controversies is a fascinating read if you are interested in how science proceeds and how the process is influenced by the personalities of the key individuals in the field.
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Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions. References Beiko. Search ADS. Mitochondria and hydrogenosomes are two forms of the same fundamental organelle. Whole-genome random sequencing and assembly of Haemophilus influenzae Rd. Genes lost and genes found: Evolution of bacterial pathogenesis and symbiosis. Issue Section:. Download all figures. View Metrics. Email alerts New issue alert. Advance article alerts.
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