THE MISSING LINK
In a new study, published in Nature this week, a research team led from Uppsala University in Sweden presents the discovery of a new microbe that represents a missing link in the evolution of complex life. The study provides a new understanding of how the complex cell types that comprise plants, fungi, but also animals and humans, evolved from simple microbes.
In this week's edition of Nature, researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden, along with collaborators from the universities in Bergen (Norway) and Vienna (Austria) report the discovery of a new group of Archaea, the Lokiarchaeota (or 'Loki' for short), and identify it to be a missing link in the origin of eukaryotes.
"We hoped that Loki would reveal a few more pieces of the puzzle, but when we obtained the first results, we couldn't believe our eyes. The data simply looked spectacular," says Thijs Ettema at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University, who lead the scientific team that carried out the study."By studying its genome, we found that Loki represents an intermediate form in-between the simple cells of microbes, and the complex cell types of eukaryotes," says Thijs Ettema.