Berkeley Lab

A New View of the Tree of life

Tree of Life

An artistic representation of the tree of life, with the many groups of bacteria on the left, the uncultivable bacteria at upper right (purple), and the Archaea and eukaryotes (green) – which includes humans – at the lower right. (Graphic by Zosia Rostomian, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)


Supported primarily by the Watershed Function SFA, UC Berkeley researchers have reconfigured the tree of life to account for newly discovered microscopic life forms. The new tree, published online in the journal Nature Microbiology, reinforces once again that the life we see around us – plants, animals, humans and other so-called eukaryotes – represent a tiny percentage of the world’s biodiversity. The high-impact paper has generated a great deal of press coverage.

Read more about the research in this press release from UC Berkeley.