Title: Prokaryotic Microbes with Eukaryote-like Genes Found
Summary: Deep sea microbe (Archaea) was found near the hydro-thermal vent. By using the deep metagenomics techniques, researchers identified the new group of archaea which possessed hallmarks of eukaroytic cells.
Connections: Throughout the class we discussed about similarities and differences amongst the three Bacteria, Archea and Eukarya cells. Archea, although it was grouped as prokaryotes, shared similarities with Eukaryotic cells such as histones associated DNA, lack of peptidoglycan in cell wall, and Methionine as the initial amino acid for protein synthesis. From this, scientists deduced that the archea and eukayara would have had similar ancestors.
Critical Analysis: From this discovery, the researchers have found similarities between archea and eukarya that was not yet discovered. The researchers found that the newly analyzed archea harbored a suite of genes found in eukaroytes which are typically used to remodel intracellular membranes to form vesicles. This could have enabled ancestral microbes to evolve into more complex eukaroytic cells. This supports the long-standing hypothesis that archaea are the ancestors of eukaryotes, and helped to fill an evolutionary gap between the two groups.
Questions: The article does mention that the exact functions of these eukaryote-like genes in newly found archea remain still unknown. Although they are similar in sequence, the researchers mentioned that the archaeal genes may be involved in different cellular processes.