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Chapter 4 : The Dilemma of the Big Transition in Evolution: the Eukaryotes

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Abstract:

The evolution of the eukaryotic nucleus and the eukaryotic cell was the largest discontinuity in the evolution of all life. This chapter presents the possible role of viruses in acquisition of the nucleus, as well as other evolutionary discontinuities. As large DNA virus families have clear links to both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, they could be of central importance in the evolution of eukaryotes, although it is clear that extant viruses may also have developed and diverged after the nucleus was formed. The pore structures of the eukaryotic nucleus pose another significant dilemma for the possible prokaryotic origin of the nucleus. The author discusses the dilemma from the perspective of a putative viral origin. The viruses that are now commonly found in unicellular eukaryotes such as microalgae are of special interest in the evolution of eukaryotes because they may shed light on the relationships of large DNA viruses to the eukaryotic host and its evolution. virus 1 (PBCV-1) is the prototype for the phycodnavirus family, which includes chlorella viruses. In addition, photosynthetic organisms, such as cyanobacteria and green algae, undergo photoinactivation of photosynthesis. Numerous other PBCV-1 genes also show a related pattern of similarity to eukaryotic genes and to viruses of eukaryotes and prokaryotes, but not to prokaryotic cellular genes. Overall, the viruses that infect algae appear to have most of the characteristics that would be needed to span the prokaryotic and eukaryotic kingdoms.

Citation: Villarreal L. 2005. The Dilemma of the Big Transition in Evolution: the Eukaryotes, p 101-141. In Viruses and the Evolution of Life. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817626.ch4
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Figures

Image of Figure 4.1
Figure 4.1

Schematic diagram of the life cycle of vaccinia virus replication. Reprinted from S. J. Flint, L. W. Enquist, V. R. Racaniello, and A. M. Skalka, , 2nd ed., p. 831 (ASM Press, Washington, D.C., 2004), with permission.

Citation: Villarreal L. 2005. The Dilemma of the Big Transition in Evolution: the Eukaryotes, p 101-141. In Viruses and the Evolution of Life. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817626.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.2
Figure 4.2

Phylogenetic analysis of the SOD gene from PBCV-1. Shown is a collapsed neighbor-joining tree. Viruses in the lowermost dotted box are nuclear polyhedrosis viruses.

Citation: Villarreal L. 2005. The Dilemma of the Big Transition in Evolution: the Eukaryotes, p 101-141. In Viruses and the Evolution of Life. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817626.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.3
Figure 4.3

Alignment of DNA polymerase genes with strong similarity to the PBCV-1 DNA polymerase gene. Highly conserved blocks of sequence are indicated by rectangles. Sequences are arranged from smallest to largest. Reprinted from L. P. Villarreal and V. R. DeFilippis, :7079–7084, 2000.

Citation: Villarreal L. 2005. The Dilemma of the Big Transition in Evolution: the Eukaryotes, p 101-141. In Viruses and the Evolution of Life. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817626.ch4
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Image of Figure 4.4
Figure 4.4

Phylogenetic dendrogram of DNA polymerase genes similar to the PBCV-1 DNA polymerase gene. Shown is a neighbor-joining (NJ) tree. Reprinted from L. P. Villarreal and V. R. DeFilippis, 74:7079–7084, 2000.

Citation: Villarreal L. 2005. The Dilemma of the Big Transition in Evolution: the Eukaryotes, p 101-141. In Viruses and the Evolution of Life. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817626.ch4
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References

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Tables

Generic image for table
Table 4.1

Possible protonuclear prokaryotic viruses

Citation: Villarreal L. 2005. The Dilemma of the Big Transition in Evolution: the Eukaryotes, p 101-141. In Viruses and the Evolution of Life. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817626.ch4
Generic image for table
Table 4.2

Distinctions of the eukaryotic nucleus and putative viral origins

Citation: Villarreal L. 2005. The Dilemma of the Big Transition in Evolution: the Eukaryotes, p 101-141. In Viruses and the Evolution of Life. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817626.ch4

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