Archaea and the tree of life

In 1977, Woese and Fox proposed the Archaea as a new domain of life and that the tree of life is divided into three branches — the Eukarya, Bacteria and Archaea. Although a three-domain tree was controversial to some, this study was soon accepted, and is widely regarded as one of the most important discoveries in biology of the past century. To mark 40 years of archaea research, this collection of articles from across the Nature group of journals explores the fundamental biology, evolution, metabolic versatility and ecological impact of archaea, and how the discovery of new species is reshaping the tree of life.

Tree of life


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