A tree of life based on protein domain organizations

  • Fukami-Kobayashi K
  • Minezaki Y
  • Tateno Y
 et al. 
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It is desirable to estimate a tree of life, a species tree including all available species in the 3 superkingdoms, Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukaryota, using not a limited number of genes but full-scale genome information. Here, we report a new method for constructing a tree of life based on protein domain organizations, that is, sequential order of domains in a protein, of all proteins detected in a genome of an organism. The new method is free from the identification of orthologous gene sets and therefore does not require the burdensome and error-prone computation. By pairwise comparisons of the repertoires of protein domain organizations of 17 archaeal, 136 bacterial, and 14 eukaryotic organisms, we computed evolutionary distances among them and constructed a tree of life. Our tree shows monophyly in Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukaryota and then monophyly in each of eukaryotic kingdoms and in most bacterial phyla. In addition, the branching pattern of the bacterial phyla in our tree is consistent with the widely accepted bacterial taxonomy and is very close to other genome-based trees. A couple of inconsistent aspects between the traditional trees and the genome-based trees including ours, however, would perhaps urge to revise the conventional view, particularly on the phylogenetic positions of hyperthermophiles.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Genome
  • Hyperthermophile
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein domain
  • Universal tree

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  • Kaoru Fukami-Kobayashi

  • Yoshiaki Minezaki

  • Yoshio Tateno

  • Ken Nishikawa

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