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Environmental survey meta-analysis reveals hidden diversity among unicellular opisthokonts

AuthorsCampo, Javier del ; Ruiz-Trillo, Iñaki
KeywordsUnicellular opisthokonts
Issue Date2013
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationMolecular Biology and Evolution 30(4): 802-805 (2013)
AbstractThe Opisthokonta clade includes Metazoa, Fungi, and several unicellular lineages, such as choanoflagellates, filastereans, ichthyosporeans, and nucleariids. To date, studies of the evolutionary diversity of opisthokonts have focused exclusively on metazoans, fungi, and, very recently, choanoflagellates. Thus, very little is known about diversity among the filastereans, ichthyosporeans, and nucleariids. To better understand the evolutionary diversity and ecology of the opisthokonts, here we analyze published environmental data from nonfungal unicellular opisthokonts and report 18S ribosomal DNA phylogenetic analyses. Our data reveal extensive diversity among all unicellular opisthokonts, except for the filastereans. We identify several clades that consist exclusively of environmental sequences, especially among ichthyosporeans and choanoflagellates. Moreover, we show that the ichthyosporeans represent a significant percentage of overall unicellular opisthokont diversity, with a greater ecological role in marine environments than previously believed. Our results provide a useful phylogenetic framework for future ecological and evolutionary studies of these poorly known lineages. © 2013 The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.
DescriptionThis is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/mst006
Identifiersdoi: 10.1093/molbev/mst006
issn: 0737-4038
e-issn: 1537-1719
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