Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 672–677 | Cite as

Early evolutionary origin of the planktic foraminifera inferred from small subunit rDNA sequence comparisons

  • Christopher M. Wade
  • Kate F. Darling
  • Dick Kroon
  • Andrew J. Leigh Brown


Phylogenetic analysis of five partial planktic foraminiferal small subunit (SSU) ribosomal (r) DNA sequences with representatives of a diverse range of eukaryote, archaebacterial, and eubacterial taxa has revealed that the evolutionary origin of the foraminiferal lineage precedes the rapid eukaryote diversification represented by the “crown” of the eukaryotic tree and probably represents one of the earliest splits among extant free-living aerobic eukaryotes. The foraminiferal rDNA sequences could be clearly separated from known symbionts, commensals, and food organisms. All five species formed a single monophyletic group distinguished from the “crown” group by unique foraminiferal specific insertions as well as considerable nucleotide distance in aligned regions.

Key words

Planktic foraminifera Eukaryote evolution SSU rDNA phylogeny 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher M. Wade
    • 1
  • Kate F. Darling
    • 2
  • Dick Kroon
    • 2
  • Andrew J. Leigh Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for HIV Research, Institute of Cell, Animal and Population BiologyUniversity of Edinburgh, Waddington BuildingEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Department of Geology and Geophysics, Grant InstituteUniversity of Edinburgh, King's BuildingsEdinburghUK

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