McInerney, James O. and Wilkinson, Mark
New methods ring changes for the tree of life.
Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 20 (3).
Relationships among prokaryotes and the origin of
eukaryotes have both proven controversial, with results
depending upon the gene sequences and methods used.
Extensive horizontal gene transfer is one possible
reason why inferring such deep phylogenetic relationships
is difficult. In two recent papers, Lake and Rivera
introduce new methods that can be used to reconstruct
the genomic tree in the presence of horizontal gene
transfers, but which suggest that a ring rather than a
tree is a better representation of some parts of the
history of life on Earth.
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