↓ Skip to main content

The physiology and habitat of the last universal common ancestor

Overview of attention for article published in Nature Microbiology, July 2016
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#10 of 1,327)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (98th percentile)

Citations

dimensions_citation
428 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
1043 Mendeley
citeulike
3 CiteULike
You are seeing a free-to-access but limited selection of the activity Altmetric has collected about this research output. Click here to find out more.
Title
The physiology and habitat of the last universal common ancestor
Published in
Nature Microbiology, July 2016
DOI 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.116
Pubmed ID
Authors

Madeline C. Weiss, Filipa L. Sousa, Natalia Mrnjavac, Sinje Neukirchen, Mayo Roettger, Shijulal Nelson-Sathi, William F. Martin

Abstract

The concept of a last universal common ancestor of all cells (LUCA, or the progenote) is central to the study of early evolution and life's origin, yet information about how and where LUCA lived is lacking. We investigated all clusters and phylogenetic trees for 6.1 million protein coding genes from sequenced prokaryotic genomes in order to reconstruct the microbial ecology of LUCA. Among 286,514 protein clusters, we identified 355 protein families (∼0.1%) that trace to LUCA by phylogenetic criteria. Because these proteins are not universally distributed, they can shed light on LUCA's physiology. Their functions, properties and prosthetic groups depict LUCA as anaerobic, CO2-fixing, H2-dependent with a Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, N2-fixing and thermophilic. LUCA's biochemistry was replete with FeS clusters and radical reaction mechanisms. Its cofactors reveal dependence upon transition metals, flavins, S-adenosyl methionine, coenzyme A, ferredoxin, molybdopterin, corrins and selenium. Its genetic code required nucleoside modifications and S-adenosyl methionine-dependent methylations. The 355 phylogenies identify clostridia and methanogens, whose modern lifestyles resemble that of LUCA, as basal among their respective domains. LUCA inhabited a geochemically active environment rich in H2, CO2 and iron. The data support the theory of an autotrophic origin of life involving the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway in a hydrothermal setting.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 299 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 1,043 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 10 <1%
Germany 8 <1%
United Kingdom 6 <1%
France 5 <1%
Canada 4 <1%
Spain 2 <1%
Japan 2 <1%
Brazil 2 <1%
Finland 1 <1%
Other 10 <1%
Unknown 993 95%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 226 22%
Student > Bachelor 190 18%
Researcher 163 16%
Student > Master 140 13%
Professor 51 5%
Other 149 14%
Unknown 124 12%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 284 27%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 251 24%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 83 8%
Chemistry 57 5%
Environmental Science 51 5%
Other 156 15%
Unknown 161 15%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1245. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 04 May 2021.
All research outputs
#5,415
of 17,668,039 outputs
Outputs from Nature Microbiology
#10
of 1,327 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#120
of 271,749 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Nature Microbiology
#2
of 63 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,668,039 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,327 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 85.2. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 271,749 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 63 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.