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&i;Eukaryotic Membranes and Cytoskeleton: Origins and Evolution&o; discusses the evolutionary origin and diversification of eukaryotic endomembranes and cytoskeleton from a cell biological and comparative genomic perspective. Many of the chapters present original research data from comparative genomic surveys. The presence/absence of gene families with central roles in endomembrane and cytoskeleton dynamics in a variety of eukaryotic taxa and an understanding of eukaryote phylogeny allow us to accurately reconstruct the cellular machineries present in the last common ancestor of eukaryotes. Such a reconstruction is fundamental if we are to understand eukaryotic diversification since this is the ancestral cell from which all diversity arose. Comparative genomics can likewise tell us which lineages expanded or reduced certain gene families and the associated cellular machineries.
Preface.- The Early Eukaryotic Fossil Record.- The Diversity of Eukaryotes and the Root of the Eukaryotic Tree.- Origin of Eukaryotic Endomembranes: A Critical Evaluation of Different Model Scenarios.- Origins and Evolution of Cotranslational Transport to the ER.- Evolution of the Endoplasmic Reticulum and the Golgi Complex.- An Evolutionary Perspective on Eukaryotic Membrane Trafficking.- Reconstructing the Evolution of the Endocytic System: Insights from Genomics and Molecular Cell Biology.- Origins and Evolution of the Actin Cytoskeleton.- Origin and Evolution of Self-Consumption: Autophagy.- Origin and Evolution of the Centrosome.- The Evolution of Eukaryotic Cilia and Flagella as Motile and Sensory Organelles.- Index