Pointillist-like impression of a phylogeny representing independent evolution of shape and motility in Firmicutes bacteria. The coccoid (red) and rod (blue) morphologies are presents on the branch tips and flagellar motility is distributed independently from cell morphology. At the base of the tree a flagellated rod represents the probable ancestor of this group of bacteria.
Illustration by Abdelkebir El Baidouri
For the paper: 'Independent evolution of shape and motility allows evolutionary flexibility in Firmicutes bacteria'. Fouad El Baidouri et al. Nature Ecology & Evolution (2016). DOI: 10.1038/s41559-016-0009