Chapter 6 : Eukaryotic Diversity—a Synoptic View

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The diversity of eukaryotic microbes is still relatively unexplored, particularly in extreme environments and for the smallest eukaryotes. Estimates of the numbers of clades of eukaryotes vary dramatically and range up to as many as 200 lineages, of which plants, animals, and fungi represent just three clades. This review presents an overview on eukaryotic relationships, describes major innovations within eukaryotes, and illustrates these innovations through examples from major clades. It focuses on representatives of five major clades —alveolates, heterokonts, euglenozoa, opisthokonts, and mycetozoans— as well as a few groups of uncertain taxonomic position—foraminifera, diplomonads, parabasalids. The alveolates are a well-defined clade that emerges from many gene genealogies and includes three major lineages: the ciliates, apicomplexans, and dinoflagellates. The heterokonts, also called stramenopiles, are a diverse group of eukaryotes that include brown algae, diatoms, labyrinthulids, and water molds. The euglenozoa include two major lineages, the euglenids and the kinetoplastids, whose sister status is supported by both ultrastructural and molecular analyses. The opisthokonts include several microbial lineages (e.g., choanoflagellates and microsporidians) as well as two predominantly macroscopic clades (animals and fungi). The mycetozoans, or slime molds, are characterized by complex life cycles that include multicellular fruiting bodies. There are two major types of slime molds: cellular and acellular.

Citation: Katz L. 2004. Eukaryotic Diversity—a Synoptic View, p 57-65. In Bull A (ed), Microbial Diversity and Bioprospecting. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817770.ch6
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Figure 1

Hypothesis for eukaryotic relationships derived from multigene analyses of . Question marks represent unresolved nodes. Green algae are paraphyletic. Many branches are likely to change as additional data are analyzed.

Citation: Katz L. 2004. Eukaryotic Diversity—a Synoptic View, p 57-65. In Bull A (ed), Microbial Diversity and Bioprospecting. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817770.ch6
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Figure 2

Microbial eukaryotes: (a) the ciliate sp. (L. A. Katz); (b) the ciliate , scale bar at 30 μm (G. McManus, University of Connecticut); (c) the dinoflagellate (M. Farmer, University of Georgia); (d) a pennate diatom (www.mbl.edu/microscope); (e) sp. with ectoplasmic net (D. J. Patterson, L. A. Zettler, and V. Edgcomb, www.mbl.edu/mictoscope); (f) the foraminiferan sp. (M. Farmer and D. J. Patterson, www.mbl.edu/microscope).

Citation: Katz L. 2004. Eukaryotic Diversity—a Synoptic View, p 57-65. In Bull A (ed), Microbial Diversity and Bioprospecting. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817770.ch6
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