Molecular evolution of single-cell eukaryotes

Mitchell L. Sogin, Ph.D.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Wednesday, March 4, 1998
3:30 p.m.—Pacific Forum

Answers to the questions, "Where did we come from?" and, "How did we get here?" are inextricably tied to understanding the evolutionary history of protists and other eukaryotes. During the past fifteen years, advances in molecular biology have spawned new phylogenetic schemes for the microbial world, as well as novel perspectives about relationships between multi-cellular plants, animals, fungi, and diverse protists. These major shifts in paradigms force us to reconsider how phenotypes have changed over the largest of evolutionary distances.

I will summarize the composition of major eukaryotic groups as defined by comparisons of ribosomal RNAs, describe their relationships inferred from molecular trees, and discuss recent changes in how we view the evolution of energy-producing organelles in early eukaryotes.

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Last updated: December 19, 2000