Author(s): Staley JT, Bouzek H, Jenkins C
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Abstract The genomes of representatives of three bacterial phyla have been compared with the list of 347 eukaryotic signature proteins (ESPs) derived by Hartman and Fedorov [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99 (2002) 1420]. The species included Prosthecobacter dejongeii of the Verrucomicrobia phylum, Gemmata sp. Wa-1 of the Planctomycetes phylum and Caulobacter crescentus of the Proteobacteria. The protist Trypanosoma brucei was used as a eukaryotic control. P. dejongeii had unique ERGO blast matches to alpha-, beta-, and gamma-tubulin, to Set2, a transcriptional factor associated with eukaryotic DNA, and to LAMMER protein kinase for a total of 10 high-scoring ESP matches altogether. Gemmata sp. Wa-1 shared four of its 17 high-scoring ESP matches with P. dejongeii, and that information coupled with other genomic data provides strong support that these two phyla are related to one another. If the ESP list is an accurate listing of unique eukaryotic proteins, then the low number of high-scoring matches between the proteins of these two bacteria with the list raises doubts about these phyla being direct ancestors of the Eucarya. However, this does not rule out the possibility that ancestral members of either the Verrucomicrobia or Planctomycetes may have played an important role in the evolution of a proto-eukaryotic organism.
This article was published in FEMS Microbiol Lett
and referenced in Air & Water Borne Diseases