- Predation and eukaryote cell origins: a coevolutionary perspective. Cavalier-Smith T. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2009 Feb;41(2):307-22.
- The origin and early evolution of eukaryotes in the light of phylogenomics. Koonin EV. Genome Biol. 2010;11(5):209.
- The hybrid nature of the Eukaryota and a consilient view of life on Earth. McInerney JO, O'Connell MJ, Pisani D. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2014 Jun;12(6):449-55.
- An archaeal origin of eukaryotes supports only two primary domains of life. Williams TA, Foster PG, Cox CJ, Embley TM. Nature. 2013 Dec 12;504(7479):231-6.
- The common ancestor of archaea and eukarya was not an archaeon. Forterre P. Archaea. 2013;2013:372396. doi: 10.1155/2013/372396.
|From McInerney et al|
I've used the Cavalier-Smith and Koonin papers in the past to introduce the basic ideas surrounding where eukaryotic cells come from (I think the Koonin paper is more clear here) and what is a eukaryotic cell (Cavalier-Smith wins here).
This year I've introduced the other three papers to provide additional perspective on the origin issues. The McInerney paper does a good job summarizing the four basic hypotheses for the origin of the eukaryotic cell (see the figure) and I think it is good to come after the first two papers as they deal more directly with the science behind the origin of eukaryotic cells.
I particularly like the last two papers by Williams and Forterre as they basically argue different things. This allows me to introduce ambiguity into the course from the beginning, which I think is important. One of my goals is to teach students to think critically about the science they read. This is quite difficult as I think the students have been taught that if it's written in a textbook or scientific paper, it must be correct. Here, I am giving the students two papers, written the same year, that argue two different points of view. Logically they cannot both be correct. It will be interesting to see if this helps students get over the hurdle of being able to question authority or not.