The explosion of molecular data has transformed hypotheses on both the origin of eukaryotes and the structure of the eukaryotic tree of life. Early ideas about the evolution of eukaryotes arose through analyses of morphology by light microscopy and, later, electron microscopy. Though such studies have proven powerful at resolving more recent events, theories on origins and diversification of eukaryotic life have been substantially revised in light of analyses of molecular data including gene and, increasingly, whole-genome sequences. By combining these approaches, progress has been made in elucidating the origin and diversification of eukaryotes. Yet many aspects of the evolution of eukaryotic life remain to be illuminated.
Chimeric genome, Endosymbiosis, Eukaryotic supergroups, Lateral gene transfer, Molecular systematics
Tekle, Yonas I.; Parfrey, Laura Wegener; and Katz, Laura A., "Molecular Data are Transforming Hypotheses on the Origin and Diversification of Eukaryotes" (2009). Biological Sciences: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.