The archaeal legacy of eukaryotes: a phylogenomic perspective

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2014 Jul 3;6(10):a016022. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a016022.


The origin of the eukaryotic cell can be regarded as one of the hallmarks in the history of life on our planet. The apparent genomic chimerism in eukaryotic genomes is currently best explained by invoking a cellular fusion at the root of the eukaryotes that involves one archaeal and one or more bacterial components. Here, we use a phylogenomics approach to reevaluate the evolutionary affiliation between Archaea and eukaryotes, and provide further support for scenarios in which the nuclear lineage in eukaryotes emerged from within the archaeal radiation, displaying a strong phylogenetic affiliation with, or even within, the archaeal TACK superphylum. Further taxonomic sampling of archaeal genomes in this superphylum will certainly provide a better resolution in the events that have been instrumental for the emergence of the eukaryotic lineage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Archaea / genetics*
  • Eukaryota / genetics*
  • Genome, Archaeal
  • Genomics
  • Phylogeny*