A New View of the Tree of Life

Tree of life, encompassing the total diversity represented by sequenced genomes. HUG ET AL. (2016)

Scientists have dramatically expanded the tree of life by using genomic data from over 1,000 organisms that have not previously been cultivated in the laboratory. The new version of the tree of life includes Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya.

Although the tree of life is one of the most important organizing principles in biology, the sheer number of branches on the tree makes it difficult to approximate its full scale. The study includes data from new genomic sampling methods of organisms in previously unexamined environments. By capturing information on these previously unknown or little studied organisms, the new tree captures the scientific progress that has been made since the first genome was published decades ago.

The study, "A new view of the tree of life" was published in the journal Nature.

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