Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Deep Ancestry of Orthologs and a Theoretical, Gradualist Perspective for the Formation of the LUCA’s (Last Universal Common Ancestor) Genome

Version 1 : Received: 17 August 2018 / Approved: 18 August 2018 / Online: 18 August 2018 (08:24:09 CEST)

How to cite: Prosdocimi, F.; Farias, S.T.D. Deep Ancestry of Orthologs and a Theoretical, Gradualist Perspective for the Formation of the LUCA’s (Last Universal Common Ancestor) Genome. Preprints 2018, 2018080330 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201808.0330.v1). Prosdocimi, F.; Farias, S.T.D. Deep Ancestry of Orthologs and a Theoretical, Gradualist Perspective for the Formation of the LUCA’s (Last Universal Common Ancestor) Genome. Preprints 2018, 2018080330 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201808.0330.v1).

Abstract

Genes and gene trees have been extensively used to study the evolutionary relationships among populations, species, families and higher systematic clades of organisms. This brought modern Biology into a sophisticated level of understanding about the evolutionary relationships and diversification patterns that happened along the entire history of organismal evolution in Earth. Genes however have not been placed in the center of questions when one aims to unravel the evolutionary history of genes themselves. Thus, we still ignore whether Insulin share a more recent common ancestor to Hexokinase or DNA polymerase. This brought modern Genetics into a very poor level of understanding about sister group relationships that happened along the entire evolutionary history of genes. Many conceptual challenges must be overcome to allow this broader comprehension about gene evolution. Here we aim to clear the intellectual path in order to provide a fertile research program that will help geneticists to understand the deep ancestry and sister group relationships among different gene families (or orthologs). We aim to propose methods to study gene formation starting from the establishment of the genetic code in pre-cellular organisms like the FUCA (First Universal Common Ancestor) until the formation of the highly complex genome of LUCA (Last UCA), that harbors hundreds of genes families working coordinated into a cellular organism. The deep understanding of ancestral relationships among orthologs will certainly inspire biotechnological and biomedical approaches and allow a deep understanding about how Darwinian molecular evolution operates inside cells and before the appearance of cellular organisms.

Subject Areas

ancestry of orthogs, ancestry of gene families; gene genealogy; FUCA; LUCA; origins of life; gradualism; evolutionary biology

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