Francisco Prosdocimi1* and Sávio Torres de Farias2,3
1Laboratório De Biologia Teórica E De Sistemas, Instituto De Bioquímica Médica Leopoldo De Meis, Universidade Federal Do Rio De Janeiro, Rio De Janeiro, Brasil
2Laboratório De Genética Evolutiva Paulo Leminsk, Departamento De Biologia Molecular, Universidade Federal Da Paraíba, João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brasil
3Departamento De Filosofia, Programa De Pós-Graduação Em Filosofia, Universidade Federal De Santa Catarina, Florianopólis, Santa Catarina, Brasil
*Corresponding Author: Francisco Prosdocimi, Laboratório De Biologia Teórica E De Sistemas, Instituto De Bioquímica Médica Leopoldo De Meis, Universidade Federal Do Rio De Janeiro, Rio De Janeiro, Brasil.
Received: December 12, 2019; Published: January 22, 2020
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.
Keywords: Ancestry of Orthologs; Ancestry of Gene Families; Gene Genealogy; FUCA; LUCA; Origins of Life; Gradualism; Evolutionary Biology
Citation: Francisco Prosdocimi and Sávio Torres de Farias. “From FUCA To LUCA: A Theoretical Analysis on the Common Descent of Gene Families". Acta Scientific Microbiology 3.2 (2020): 73-81.
Copyright: © 2020 Francisco Prosdocimi and Sávio Torres de Farias. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.