Polyphasic evidence delineating the root of life and roots of biological domains

Gene. 2007 Nov 15;403(1-2):39-52. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2007.07.032. Epub 2007 Aug 23.


Twenty different lines of polyphasic evidence obtained from tRNA and protein sequences, anticodon usages, gene contents, metabolism and geochemistry have made possible the identification of a Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) phylogenetically located proximal to the hyperthermophilic methanogenic archaeon Methanopyrus. Combined with analysis of high-similarity cross-domain tRNA pairs, the evidence also suggests a Thermotoga-proximal Last Bacterial Common Ancestor (LBACA) that originated from Crenarchaeota close to Aeropyrum, and a Plasmodium-proximal Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor (LECA) derived from Ferroplasma through endosymbiosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Archaea / classification*
  • Archaea / genetics
  • Archaea / metabolism
  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Eukaryotic Cells / classification*
  • Eukaryotic Cells / metabolism
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Origin of Life*
  • Phylogeny*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein
  • Symbiosis


  • RNA, Transfer