Archaea – a window into deep evolutionary transitions
The tree of life (TOL) is a powerful framework to depict the evolutionary history of cellular organisms through time, from our microbial origins to the diversification of multicellular eukaryotes that shape the visible biosphere today. During the past decades, our perception of the TOL has fundamentally changed in part due to profound methodological advances which allowed a more objective approach to study organismal diversity and led to the discovery of major new branches in the TOL. In this talk, I will present aspects of my research that have contributed to new key insights into major evolutionary transitions in the ToL including the divergence between archaea and bacteria, the origin of the eukaryotic cell and the role of archaeal symbionts in ecology and evolution.
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