View Full Version : Is Lokiarchaea the missing link between archaea and eukaryotes?

08-15-2019, 02:26 PM
Scientists glimpse oddball microbe that could help explain rise of complex life
‘Lokiarchaea’, previously known only from DNA, is isolated and grown in culture.

It took the researchers 12 years to cultivate pure laboratory cultures of these microbes from deep-sea mud. The effort gives scientists their first look at the kind of organisms that could have made the jump from simple, bacteria-like cells to eukaryotes — the group of organisms whose cells have nuclei and other structures, and which includes plants, fungi, and humans and other animals.

“This is a monumental paper that reflects a tremendous amount of work and perseverance,” says Thijs Ettema, an evolutionary microbiologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. “It’s a major step forward in understanding this important lineage.”