ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Our understanding of the eukaryotic tree of life and the tremendous diversity of microbial eukaryotes is in flux as additional genes and diverse taxa are sampled for molecular analyses. Despite instability in many analyses, there is an increasing trend to classify eukaryotic diversity into six major supergroups: the 'Amoebozoa', 'Chromalveolata', 'Excavata', 'Opisthokonta', 'Plantae', and 'Rhizaria'. Previous molecular analyses have often suffered from either a broad taxon sampling using only single-gene data or have used multigene data with a limited sample of taxa. This study has two major aims: (1) to place taxa represented by 72 sequences, 61 of which have not been characterized previously, onto a well-sampled multigene genealogy, and (2) to evaluate the support for the six putative supergroups using two taxon-rich data sets and a variety of phylogenetic approaches. RESULTS: The inferred trees reveal strong support for many clades that also have defining ultrastructural or molecular characters. In contrast, we find limited to no support for most of the putative supergroups as only the 'Opisthokonta' receive strong support in our analyses. The supergroup 'Amoebozoa' has only moderate support, whereas the 'Chromalveolata', 'Excavata', 'Plantae', and 'Rhizaria' receive very limited or no support. CONCLUSION: Our analytical approach substantiates the power of increased taxon sampling in placing diverse eukaryotic lineages within well-supported clades. At the same time, this study indicates that the six supergroup hypothesis of higher-level eukaryotic classification is likely premature. The use of a taxon-rich data set with 105 lineages, which still includes only a small fraction of the diversity of microbial eukaryotes, fails to resolve deeper phylogenetic relationships and reveals no support for four of the six proposed supergroups. Our analyses provide a point of departure for future taxon- and gene-rich analyses of the eukaryotic tree of life, which will be critical for resolving their phylogenetic interrelationships.
Project description:Nearly all of eukaryotic diversity has been classified into 6 suprakingdom-level groups (supergroups) based on molecular and morphological/cell-biological evidence; these are Opisthokonta, Amoebozoa, Archaeplastida, Rhizaria, Chromalveolata, and Excavata. However, molecular phylogeny has not provided clear evidence that either Chromalveolata or Excavata is monophyletic, nor has it resolved the relationships among the supergroups. To establish the affinities of Excavata, which contains parasites of global importance and organisms regarded previously as primitive eukaryotes, we conducted a phylogenomic analysis of a dataset of 143 proteins and 48 taxa, including 19 excavates. Previous phylogenomic studies have not included all major subgroups of Excavata, and thus have not definitively addressed their interrelationships. The enigmatic flagellate Andalucia is sister to typical jakobids. Jakobids (including Andalucia), Euglenozoa and Heterolobosea form a major clade that we name Discoba. Analyses of the complete dataset group Discoba with the mitochondrion-lacking excavates or "metamonads" (diplomonads, parabasalids, and Preaxostyla), but not with the final excavate group, Malawimonas. This separation likely results from a long-branch attraction artifact. Gradual removal of rapidly-evolving taxa from the dataset leads to moderate bootstrap support (69%) for the monophyly of all Excavata, and 90% support once all metamonads are removed. Most importantly, Excavata robustly emerges between unikonts (Amoebozoa + Opisthokonta) and "megagrouping" of Archaeplastida, Rhizaria, and chromalveolates. Our analyses indicate that Excavata forms a monophyletic suprakingdom-level group that is one of the 3 primary divisions within eukaryotes, along with unikonts and a megagroup of Archaeplastida, Rhizaria, and the chromalveolate lineages.
Project description:Transport of molecules across mitochondrial outer membrane is pivotal for a proper function of mitochondria. The transport pathways across the membrane are formed by ion channels that participate in metabolite exchange between mitochondria and cytoplasm (voltage-dependent anion-selective channel, VDAC) as well as in import of proteins encoded by nuclear genes (Tom40 and Sam50/Tob55). VDAC, Tom40, and Sam50/Tob55 are present in all eukaryotic organisms, encoded in the nuclear genome, and have ?-barrel topology. We have compiled data sets of these protein sequences and studied their phylogenetic relationships with a special focus on the position of Amoebozoa. Additionally, we identified these protein-coding genes in Acanthamoeba castellanii and Dictyostelium discoideum to complement our data set and verify the phylogenetic position of these model organisms. Our analysis show that mitochondrial ?-barrel channels from Archaeplastida (plants) and Opisthokonta (animals and fungi) experienced many duplication events that resulted in multiple paralogous isoforms and form well-defined monophyletic clades that match the current model of eukaryotic evolution. However, in representatives of Amoebozoa, Chromalveolata, and Excavata (former Protista), they do not form clearly distinguishable clades, although they locate basally to the plant and algae branches. In most cases, they do not posses paralogs and their sequences appear to have evolved quickly or degenerated. Consequently, the obtained phylogenies of mitochondrial outer membrane ?-channels do not entirely reflect the recent eukaryotic classification system involving the six supergroups: Chromalveolata, Excavata, Archaeplastida, Rhizaria, Amoebozoa, and Opisthokonta.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Classification of eukaryotes provides a fundamental phylogenetic framework for ecological, medical, and industrial research. In recent years eukaryotes have been classified into six major supergroups: Amoebozoa, Archaeplastida, Chromalveolata, Excavata, Opisthokonta, and Rhizaria. According to this supergroup classification, Archaeplastida and Chromalveolata each arose from a single plastid-generating endosymbiotic event involving a cyanobacterium (Archaeplastida) or red alga (Chromalveolata). Although the plastids within members of the Archaeplastida and Chromalveolata share some features, no nucleocytoplasmic synapomorphies supporting these supergroups are currently known. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This study was designed to test the validity of the Archaeplastida and Chromalveolata through the analysis of nucleus-encoded eukaryotic translation elongation factor 2 (EEF2) and cytosolic heat-shock protein of 70 kDa (HSP70) sequences generated from the glaucophyte Cyanophora paradoxa, the cryptophytes Goniomonas truncata and Guillardia theta, the katablepharid Leucocryptos marina, the rhizarian Thaumatomonas sp. and the green alga Mesostigma viride. The HSP70 phylogeny was largely unresolved except for certain well-established groups. In contrast, EEF2 phylogeny recovered many well-established eukaryotic groups and, most interestingly, revealed a well-supported clade composed of cryptophytes, katablepharids, haptophytes, rhodophytes, and Viridiplantae (green algae and land plants). This clade is further supported by the presence of a two amino acid signature within EEF2, which appears to have arisen from amino acid replacement before the common origin of these eukaryotic groups. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our EEF2 analysis strongly refutes the monophyly of the Archaeplastida and the Chromalveolata, adding to a growing body of evidence that limits the utility of these supergroups. In view of EEF2 phylogeny and other morphological evidence, we discuss the possibility of an alternative eukaryotic supergroup.
Project description:The deep phylogeny of eukaryotes is an important but extremely difficult problem of evolutionary biology. Five eukaryotic supergroups are relatively well established but the relationship between these supergroups remains elusive, and their divergence seems to best fit a "Big Bang" model. Attempts were made to root the tree of eukaryotes by using potential derived shared characters such as unique fusions of conserved genes. One popular model of eukaryotic evolution that emerged from this type of analysis is the unikont-bikont phylogeny: The unikont branch consists of Metazoa, Choanozoa, Fungi, and Amoebozoa, whereas bikonts include the rest of eukaryotes, namely, Plantae (green plants, Chlorophyta, and Rhodophyta), Chromalveolata, excavates, and Rhizaria. We reexamine the relationships between the eukaryotic supergroups using a genome-wide analysis of rare genomic changes (RGCs) associated with multiple, conserved amino acids (RGC_CAMs and RGC_CAs), to resolve trifurcations of major eukaryotic lineages. The results do not support the basal position of Chromalveolata with respect to Plantae and unikonts or the monophyly of the bikont group and appear to be best compatible with the monophyly of unikonts and Chromalveolata. Chromalveolata show a distinct, additional signal of affinity with Plantae, conceivably, owing to genes transferred from the secondary, red algal symbiont. Excavates are derived forms, with extremely long branches that complicate phylogenetic inference; nevertheless, the RGC analysis suggests that they are significantly more likely to cluster with the unikont-Chromalveolata assemblage than with the Plantae. Thus, the first split in eukaryotic evolution might lie between photosynthetic and nonphotosynthetic forms and so could have been triggered by the endosymbiosis between an ancestral unicellular eukaryote and a cyanobacterium that gave rise to the chloroplast.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Eukaryotic genes with cyanobacterial ancestry in plastid-lacking protists have been regarded as important evolutionary markers implicating the presence of plastids in the early evolution of eukaryotes. Although recent genomic surveys demonstrated the presence of cyanobacterial and algal ancestry genes in the genomes of plastid-lacking protists, comparative analyses on the origin and distribution of those genes are still limited. RESULTS:We identified 12 gene families with cyanobacterial ancestry in the genomes of a taxonomically wide range of plastid-lacking eukaryotes (Phytophthora [Chromalveolata], Naegleria [Excavata], Dictyostelium [Amoebozoa], Saccharomyces and Monosiga [Opisthokonta]) using a novel phylogenetic pipeline. The eukaryotic gene clades with cyanobacterial ancestry were mostly composed of genes from bikonts (Archaeplastida, Chromalveolata, Rhizaria and Excavata). We failed to find genes with cyanobacterial ancestry in Saccharomyces and Dictyostelium, except for a photorespiratory enzyme conserved among fungi. Meanwhile, we found several Monosiga genes with cyanobacterial ancestry, which were unrelated to other Opisthokonta genes. CONCLUSION:Our data demonstrate that a considerable number of genes with cyanobacterial ancestry have contributed to the genome composition of the plastid-lacking protists, especially bikonts. The origins of those genes might be due to lateral gene transfer events, or an ancient primary or secondary endosymbiosis before the diversification of bikonts. Our data also show that all genes identified in this study constitute multi-gene families with punctate distribution among eukaryotes, suggesting that the transferred genes could have survived through rounds of gene family expansion and differential reduction.
Project description:Although inland water bodies are more heterogeneous and sensitive to environmental variation than oceans, the diversity of small protists in these ecosystems is much less well known. Some molecular surveys of lakes exist, but little information is available from smaller, shallower and often ephemeral freshwater systems, despite their global distribution and ecological importance. We carried out a comparative study based on massive pyrosequencing of amplified 18S rRNA gene fragments of protists in the 0.2-5 ?m size range in one brook and four shallow ponds located in the Natural Regional Park of the Chevreuse Valley, France. Our study revealed a wide diversity of small protists, with 812 stringently defined operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to the recognized eukaryotic supergroups (SAR--Stramenopiles, Alveolata, Rhizaria--Archaeplastida, Excavata, Amoebozoa, Opisthokonta) and to groups of unresolved phylogenetic position (Cryptophyta, Haptophyta, Centrohelida, Katablepharida, Telonemida, Apusozoa). Some OTUs represented deep-branching lineages (Cryptomycota, Aphelida, Colpodellida, Tremulida, clade-10 Cercozoa, HAP-1 Haptophyta). We identified several lineages previously thought to be marine including, in addition to MAST-2 and MAST-12, already detected in freshwater, MAST-3 and possibly MAST-6. Protist community structures were different in the five ecosystems. These differences did not correlate with geographical distances, but seemed to be influenced by environmental parameters.
Project description:An accurate reconstruction of the eukaryotic tree of life is essential to identify the innovations underlying the diversity of microbial and macroscopic (e.g., plants and animals) eukaryotes. Previous work has divided eukaryotic diversity into a small number of high-level "supergroups," many of which receive strong support in phylogenomic analyses. However, the abundance of data in phylogenomic analyses can lead to highly supported but incorrect relationships due to systematic phylogenetic error. Furthermore, the paucity of major eukaryotic lineages (19 or fewer) included in these genomic studies may exaggerate systematic error and reduce power to evaluate hypotheses. Here, we use a taxon-rich strategy to assess eukaryotic relationships. We show that analyses emphasizing broad taxonomic sampling (up to 451 taxa representing 72 major lineages) combined with a moderate number of genes yield a well-resolved eukaryotic tree of life. The consistency across analyses with varying numbers of taxa (88-451) and levels of missing data (17-69%) supports the accuracy of the resulting topologies. The resulting stable topology emerges without the removal of rapidly evolving genes or taxa, a practice common to phylogenomic analyses. Several major groups are stable and strongly supported in these analyses (e.g., SAR, Rhizaria, Excavata), whereas the proposed supergroup "Chromalveolata" is rejected. Furthermore, extensive instability among photosynthetic lineages suggests the presence of systematic biases including endosymbiotic gene transfer from symbiont (nucleus or plastid) to host. Our analyses demonstrate that stable topologies of ancient evolutionary relationships can be achieved with broad taxonomic sampling and a moderate number of genes. Finally, taxon-rich analyses such as presented here provide a method for testing the accuracy of relationships that receive high bootstrap support (BS) in phylogenomic analyses and enable placement of the multitude of lineages that lack genome scale data.
Project description:Recombinase enzymes promote DNA repair by homologous recombination. The genes that encode them are ancestral to life, occurring in all known dominions: viruses, Eubacteria, Archaea and Eukaryota. Bacterial recombinases are also present in viruses and eukaryotic groups (supergroups), presumably via ancestral events of lateral gene transfer. The eukaryotic recA genes have two distinct origins (mitochondrial and plastidial), whose acquisition by eukaryotes was possible via primary (bacteria-eukaryote) and/or secondary (eukaryote-eukaryote) endosymbiotic gene transfers (EGTs). Here we present a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the recA genealogy, with substantially increased taxonomic sampling in the bacteria, viruses, eukaryotes and a special focus on the key eukaryotic supergroup Amoebozoa, earlier represented only by Dictyostelium We demonstrate that several major eukaryotic lineages have lost the bacterial recombinases (including Opisthokonta and Excavata), whereas others have retained them (Amoebozoa, Archaeplastida and the SAR-supergroups). When absent, the bacterial recA homologues may have been lost entirely (secondary loss of canonical mitochondria) or replaced by other eukaryotic recombinases. RecA proteins have a transit peptide for organellar import, where they act. The reconstruction of the RecA phylogeny with its EGT events presented here retells the intertwined evolutionary history of eukaryotes and bacteria, while further illuminating the events of endosymbiosis in eukaryotes by expanding the collection of widespread genes that provide insight to this deep history.
Project description:The diversity of free-living protozoa in five meat-cutting plants was determined. Light microscopy after enrichment culturing was combined with sequencing of PCR-amplified, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE)-separated 18S rRNA gene fragments, which was used as a fast screening method. The general results of the survey showed that a protozoan community of amoebae, ciliates, and flagellates was present in all of the plants. Protozoa were detected mainly in floor drains, in standing water on the floor, on soiled bars of cutting tables, on plastic pallets, and in out-of-use hot water knife sanitizers, but they were also detected on surfaces which come into direct contact with meat, such as conveyer belts, working surfaces of cutting tables, and needles of a meat tenderizer. After 7 days of incubation at refrigerator temperature, protozoa were detected in about one-half of the enrichment cultures. Based on microscopic observations, 61 morphospecies were found, and Bodo saltans, Bodo spp., Epistylis spp., Glaucoma scintillans, Petalomonas spp., Prodiscophrya collini, and Vannella sp. were the most frequently encountered identified organisms. Sequencing of DGGE bands resulted in identification of a total of 49 phylotypes, including representatives of the Amoebozoa, Chromalveolata, Excavata, Opisthokonta, and Rhizaria. Sequences of small heterotrophic flagellates were affiliated mainly with the Alveolata (Apicomplexa), Stramenopiles (Chrysophyceae), and Rhizaria (Cercozoa). This survey showed that there is high protozoan species richness in meat-cutting plants and that the species included species related to known hosts of food-borne pathogens.
Project description:Integration of ultrastructural and molecular sequence data has revealed six supergroups of eukaryote organisms (excavates, Rhizaria, chromalveolates, Plantae, Amoebozoa and opisthokonts), and the root of the eukaryote evolutionary tree is suggested to lie between unikonts (Amoebozoa, opisthokonts) and bikonts (the other supergroups). However, some smaller lineages remain of uncertain affinity. One of these unassigned taxa is the anaerobic, free-living, amoeboid flagellate Breviata anathema, which is of key significance as it is unclear whether it is a unikont (i.e. possibly the deepest branching amoebozoan) or a bikont. To establish its evolutionary position, we sequenced thousands of Breviata genes and calculated trees using 78 protein sequences. Our trees and specific substitutions in the 18S RNA sequence indicate that Breviata is related to other Amoebozoa, thereby significantly increasing the cellular diversity of this phylum and establishing Breviata as a deep-branching unikont. We discuss the implications of these results for the ancestral state of Amoebozoa and eukaryotes generally, demonstrating that phylogenomics of phylogenetically 'nomadic' species can elucidate key questions in eukaryote evolution. Furthermore, mitochondrial genes among the Breviata ESTs demonstrate that Breviata probably contains a modified anaerobic mitochondrion. With these findings, remnants of mitochondria have been detected in all putatively deep-branching amitochondriate organisms.