Morphological and Ecological Complexity in Early Eukaryotic Ecosystems

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Morphological and Ecological Complexity in Early Eukaryotic Ecosystems

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Title: Morphological and Ecological Complexity in Early Eukaryotic Ecosystems
Author: Knoll, Andrew; Walter, Malcolm R.; Javaux, Emmanuelle J.

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Javaux, Emmanuelle J., Andrew H. Knoll, and Malcolm R. Walter. 2001. Morphological and ecological complexity in early eukaryotic ecosystems. Nature 412: 66-69.
Access Status: At the direction of the depositing author this work is not currently accessible through DASH.
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Abstract: Molecular phylogeny and biogeochemistry indicate that eukaryotes differentiated early in Earth history. Sequence comparisons of small-subunit ribosomal RNA genes suggest a deep evolutionary divergence of Eukarya and Archaea(1); C-27-C-29 steranes (derived from sterols synthesized by eukaryotes) and strong depletion of C-13 (a biogeochemical signature of methanogenic Archaea) in 2,700 Myr old kerogens independently place a minimum age on this split(2,3). Steranes, large spheroidal microfossils, and rare macrofossils of possible eukaryotic origin occur in Palaeoproterozoic rocks(4-6). Until now, however, evidence for morphological and taxonomic diversification within the domain has generally been restricted to very late Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic successions(7). Here we show that the cytoskeletal and ecological prerequisites for eukaryotic diversification were already established in eukaryotic microorganisms fossilized nearly 1,500 Myr ago in shales of the early Mesoproterozoic Roper Group in northern Australia.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/35083562
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3207702

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7262]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

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