My friend and colleague, Rosie Redfield, has written an interesting post about the origin of eukaryotic sex, entitled "Why I don't work on sex in eukaryotes ". She sums up what we do and don't know about deep eukaryotic relationships and how this impinges on the origin of sex and meiosis. One bottom line is that we still don't know what the earliest branch on the eukaryotic tree is. The other is that it might not matter for the origin of meiosis since work in my lab has shown that homologs of meiotic genes are present in all of the major protist lineages (e.g, this paper, but stay tuned for more details...). Rosie ends her provocative post by paying me a sincere compliment:
"I'm glad that John Logsdon has been working on this, rather than me."