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Opinion

The tree of one percent

Tal Dagan* and William Martin

Author affiliations

Institute of Botany, University of Düsseldorf, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

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Citation and License

Genome Biology 2006, 7:118  doi:10.1186/gb-2006-7-10-118

Published: 1 November 2006

Abstract

Two significant evolutionary processes are fundamentally not tree-like in nature - lateral gene transfer among prokaryotes and endosymbiotic gene transfer (from organelles) among eukaryotes. To incorporate such processes into the bigger picture of early evolution, biologists need to depart from the preconceived notion that all genomes are related by a single bifurcating tree.