Rooted Tree Key to Understanding Bacterial Evolution
Published:10 Jun.2021    Source:University of Bristol

The findings, published in the journal Science today, demonstrate how integrating vertical descent and horizontal gene transfer can be used to infer the root of the bacterial tree and the nature of the last bacterial common ancestor.

Bacteria comprise a very diverse domain of single-celled organisms that can be found almost everywhere on Earth. All Bacteria are related and derive from a common ancestral Bacterial cell. Until now, the shape of the bacterial tree of life and the placement of its root has been contested, but is necessary to shed light on the early evolution of life on our planet.