LUCApedia: a database for the study of ancient life

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 08542, USA and Department of Mathematics, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, 33620, USA.
Nucleic Acids Research (Impact Factor: 8.81). 11/2012; 41(Database issue). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gks1217
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Organisms represented by the root of the universal evolutionary tree were most likely complex cells with a sophisticated protein translation system and a DNA genome encoding hundreds of genes. The growth of bioinformatics data from taxonomically diverse organisms has made it possible to infer the likely properties of early life in greater detail. Here we present LUCApedia, (, a unified framework for simultaneously evaluating multiple data sets related to the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) and its predecessors. This unification is achieved by mapping eleven such data sets onto UniProt, KEGG and BioCyc IDs. LUCApedia may be used to rapidly acquire evidence that a certain gene or set of genes is ancient, to examine the early evolution of metabolic pathways, or to test specific hypotheses related to ancient life by corroborating them against the rest of the database.

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