Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Evolutionary relationships between Archaea and eukaryotes

A phylogenomic re-analysis of sequence data strongly supports the emergence of eukaryotes from within the archaeal radiation and underlines the importance of using the most accurate approaches to reconstruct ancient divergences in the tree of life.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Unrooted trees of life showing two alternative scenarios on the evolutionary relationships between eukaryotes and archaea.

Gareth Monger, under a Creative Commons licence CC BY 3.0.


  1. 1.

    Dacks, J. B. et al. J. Cell Sci. 129, 3695–3703 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Eme, L., Spang, A., Lombard, J., Stairs, C. W. & Ettema, T. J. G. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 15, 711–723 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Williams, T. A., Cox, C. J., Foster, P. G., Szöllősi, G. J. & Embley, T. M. Nat. Ecol. Evol. (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Delsuc, F., Brinkmann, H. & Philippe, H. Nat. Rev. Genet. 6, 361–375 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Adam, P. S., Borrel, G., Brochier-Armanet, C. & Gribaldo, S. ISME J. 11, 2407–2425 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Raymann, K., Brochier-Armanet, C. & Gribaldo, S. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 112, 6670–6675 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Williams, T. A., Foster, P. G., Cox, C. J. & Embley, T. M. Nature 504, 231–236 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Williams, T. A., Foster, P. G., Nye, T. M. W., Cox, C. J. & Embley, T. M. Proc. R. Soc. B 279, 4870–4879 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Cox, C. J., Foster, P. G., Hirt, R. P., Harris, S. R. & Embley, T. M. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 20356–20361 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Foster, P. G., Cox, C. J. & Embley, T. M. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 364, 2197–2207 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Spang, A. et al. Nature 521, 173–179 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Zaremba-Niedzwiedzka, K. et al. Nature 541, 353–358 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Imachi, H. et al. Preprint at bioRxiv (2019).

  14. 14.

    Da Cunha, V., Gaia, M., Nasir, A. & Forterre, P. PLOS Genet. 14, e1007215 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Spang, A. et al. PLOS Genet. 14, e1007080 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Dagan, T. & Martin, W. Genome Biol. 7, 118 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Williams, T. A. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 114, E4602–E4611 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Petitjean, C., Deschamps, P., López-García, P. & Moreira, D. Genome Biol. Evol. 7, 191–204 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Philippe, H. & Laurent, J. Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev. 8, 616–623 (1998).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Simonetta Gribaldo.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gribaldo, S., Brochier-Armanet, C. Evolutionary relationships between Archaea and eukaryotes. Nat Ecol Evol 4, 20–21 (2020).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing