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Bridging the gap: an evolutionary genomics approach to illuminate the prokaryote-to-eukaryote transition.

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 Gap2bridge project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the Gap2bridge project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "Gap2bridge" about.

genomics    placement    emergence    lokiarchaeota    deeper    origin    first    diversity    gap    last    gain    altogether    ancestors    innovative    archaeal    prokaryote    transition    eukarya    mapping    modern    branching    genomic    computational    data    itself    combined    archaea    multicellular    lineages    microorganisms    types    immense    phylogenomics    elucidating    cellular    age    ancestor    evolution    deep    unclear    tree    bacteria    infer    proteins    sequence    disciplines    forms    newly    genome    eukaryotes    sciences    latter    colossal    gene    molecular    cell    eukaryote    content    back    phylogenomic    enigmas    contribution    nature    displaying    biology    lineage    prokaryotes    domains    subcellular    purpose    unicellular    entirely    life    metagenomics    esps    origins    evolutionary    discovered    fascinating    integrate    eukaryotic    organelles    unprecedented    illuminate    insights    signature    emphasis    subsequent    trace    uncultivated   

Project "Gap2bridge" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 751 05

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Sweden [SE]
 Project website
 Total cost 173˙857 €
 EC max contribution 173˙857 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-01-01   to  2018-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UPPSALA UNIVERSITET SE (UPPSALA) coordinator 173˙857.00


 Project objective

Eukarya – one of the three Domains of Life along with Archaea and Bacteria (i.e. prokaryotes) – include all complex multicellular life forms, as well as a colossal diversity of unicellular microorganisms. At the cellular level, the gap between prokaryotes and eukaryotes is immense, with the latter cell types displaying a large number of complex subcellular organelles and molecular systems. The evolutionary origin of these unique features, and thus of the eukaryotic cell itself, remains one of the most fascinating enigmas in modern biology. Although many eukaryotic-signature proteins (ESPs) are known to trace back to the last eukaryotic common ancestor, their deeper evolutionary origins remain unclear. The major goal of the current proposal is to illuminate the prokaryote to eukaryote transition by elucidating the origin and subsequent evolution of ESPs, as well as their order of emergence. We will focus on the ESPs of archaeal origin with an emphasis on the specific contribution of the newly discovered Lokiarchaeota lineages to the origin of the eukaryotic cell. In addition, we will aim to determine the placement the eukaryote lineage within the tree of Life and infer the age of the “first eukaryote”. Finally, we will use a novel phylogenomic approach to infer the gene content of the archaeal ancestors of eukaryotes by mapping the evolution of ESPs along the tree of Life. For this purpose, we will analyse entirely novel genomic data from several uncultivated Lokiarchaeota lineages, as well as novel sequence data from deep-branching key eukaryotes. This project will integrate approaches from distinct disciplines within life sciences and computational sciences (including molecular evolution, genomics/metagenomics and cell biology), with a strong emphasis on phylogenomics. Altogether, the innovative nature of this work combined with state-of-the-art methods and novel key genome data will allow to gain unprecedented insights in the origin and early evolution of Eukarya.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Anja Spang, Laura Eme, Jimmy H. Saw, Eva F. Caceres, Katarzyna Zaremba-Niedzwiedzka, Jonathan Lombard, Lionel Guy, Thijs J. G. Ettema
Asgard archaea are the closest prokaryotic relatives of eukaryotes
published pages: e1007080, ISSN: 1553-7390, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007080
PLOS Genetics 14/3 2019-07-25
2017 Laura Eme, Anja Spang, Jonathan Lombard, Courtney W. Stairs, Thijs J. G. Ettema
Archaea and the origin of eukaryotes
published pages: 711-723, ISSN: 1740-1526, DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro.2017.133
Nature Reviews Microbiology 15/12 2019-07-25

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