Research Seminar: Dr. Anja Spang - Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

9 December 2019, 1.00 PM - 9 December 2019, 2.00 PM

Dr. Anja Spang hosted by Dr. Tom Williams

Life Sciences Seminar Room G13/G14


Archaea - how a forgotten domain illuminates the dark ages in life`s evolution.


Archaea represent a major prokaryotic domain of life besides Bacteria but were recognized as such only about 40 years ago. Cultivation-independent approaches have recently allowed the reconstruction of genomes of uncultivated microorganisms and revealed that archaea are taxonomically much more diverse and widely distributed in the biosphere than assumed previously. I will present a historical perspective of the ‘evolution’ of the archaeal tree of life, which will give a synopsis of our current knowledge of archaeal taxonomic and metabolic diversity today.  In particular, I will discuss how genome analyses of the Asgard archaea have allowed fundamental new insights into the evolution of eukaryotes and how the investigation of enigmatic DPANN archaea has started to change our view on the earliest transitions in the tree of life.

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