Asgardarchaeota and Eukaryogenesis

Asgardarchaeota have been proposed to comprise the closest living prokaryotic relatives to Eukaryotes.


This project aims to investigate the controversial origin of eukaryotes and thus all multicellular life on earth within the recently proposed Asgardarchaeota. Using metagenomics and a high-throughput single-cell genomics approach, we aim to recover genomes representing novel Asgardarchaeota lineages. These genomes will be used to evaluate evolutionary relationships between Eukaryotes and Archaea, for taxonomic rank normalisation, to screen for eukaryote-like features in Asgardarchaeota, and to design probes for phenotype visualisation. 

Jiarui Sun sampling Asgardarchaeota in Queensland, Australia.



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