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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.

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

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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