Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Viral Eukaryogenesis

One of the things I love about biology is how quickly you can fall down the rabbit hole. One minute you are checking something in a textbook, it raises a question, you search for an answer and suddenly you are in a strange and less certain world that makes you go whoa. Case in point - which other organelles might have an endosymbiotic origin? Last year I blogged about the peroxisome. This year it's the turn of the nucleus. Yes, the nucleus itself.

Viral Eukaryogenesis: Was the Ancestor of the Nucleus a Complex DNA Virus?

This paper, from 2001, has been cited 60 times since then (thank you Web of Science), so it has attracted some attention but not a huge amount. Looking at the titles of some of the citing papers it is clear that this whole question is now wrapped up in the question of viral origins and our friend the mimivirus again.

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