A brand new early eukaryote (“its own eukaryotic lineage”) From Katarina Zimmer at The Scientist:
From an aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California, scientists have identified a unicellular species that could shed light on how eukaryotes evolved, they report in Current Biology this week (November 22). The tiny organism—named Ancoracysta twista—is not only its own species, says lead author of the study, Jan Janouškovec, but “it represents a whole new lineage in the eukaryotic tree of life.”
A. twista is about 10 micrometers long and moves by using its whip-like flagellum. It is named after its distinguishing feature—the “ancoracyst,” a gun-like organelle that it uses to “shoot” at and immobilize its prey, usually other flagellate species. Janouškovec, a molecular biologist at University College London, along with an international team of scientists, discovered A. twista in a sample collected from the surface of a brain coral in a tropical aquarium.
The researchers realized that Ancoracysta represents its own lineage when phylogenetic models could not reconcile its genetic material with that of any existing lineages.
But Janouškovec’s discovery has thrown a spanner into the works, because A. twista’s mitochondria also have a large number of protein-coding genes, 47, but they’re not closely related to the jakobids at all. This suggests that the origin of eukaryotes might be a bit more complicated than previously thought. A. twista is “helping us get a bit closer to answering some of those questions,” Janouškovec tells The Scientist. More.
Yet another brand new highly specified weapons system that Darwinians will need to claim is not irreducibly complex. How much easier it would have been for them if all the systems were descendants of The Primeval System.
See also: Dinosaurs are tearing paleontology apart?
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