Analysis of four conserved proteins allows a better prediction of eukaryotic phylogeny.
The rapidity of the explosive radiation of eukaryote taxa has led to suggestions that relationships among these taxa may never be resolved. But in the 3 November Science, Baldauf et al. propose that the use of sequences other than those of the traditional ribosomal RNA genes offers hope (Science 2000, 290:972-977). Based on the sequences of α-tubulin, β-tubulin, actin, and elongation factor 1-alpha, Baldauf et al. propose a phylogeny of 14 higher order eukaryote taxa. The use of multiple sequence sources dilutes errors arising from horizontal gene transfer, and consideration of multiple genes supports groupings that are not identified by single genes considered in isolation.