Symbiogenesis played a crucial role in the origin of eukaryotic cell and in further progressive evolution. It led to complexification of coding systems as a result of merging individual genomes of prokaryotic cells. Horizontal gene transfer which is common among prokaryotes appeared as the engine for the origin of eukaryotic cells. Further progressive evolution included several events of secondary endosymbiosis that resulted in appearance of different taxonomic groups of eukaryotes.
The current issue will explore, in particular, the role of horizontal gene transfer and symbiogenesis at the evolutionary scale. There are many challenges and unresolved questions in the problem of origin of eukaryotic cells and complex multicellular organisms in relation to horizontal gene transfer and other coding events arising from interaction of different genomes leading to complexification of biosystems that will be explored in the special issue. The papers collected in this issue, will present concrete approaches for understanding the role of symbiogenesis in the evolutionary process and suggest computational models to describe the emergence of complex biological systems.
The issue is dedicated to the founders of the concept of symbiogenesis Boris Kozo-Polyansky (1890-1957) and Lynn Margulis (1938-2011), the former chief editor ofBioSystemswho proved this concept and introduced it into the mainstream of evolutionary theory.