Cyanobacteria

Architects of the earliest microfossils, atmospheric oxygen, and plastids.

Microbiology of ancient and modern hydrothermal systems.

Entrez PubMed: "Hydrothermal systems have prevailed throughout geological history on earth, and ancient ARCHAEAN hydrothermal deposits could provide clues to understanding earth's earliest biosphere. Modern hydrothermal systems support a plethora of microorganisms and macroorganisms, and provide good comparisons for paleontological interpretation of ancient hydrothermal systems. However, all of the microfossils associated with ancient hydrothermal deposits reported to date are filamentous, and limited STABLE ISOTOPE analysis suggests that these microfossils were probably autotrophs. Therefore, the morphology and mode of carbon metabolism are attributes of microorganisms from modern hydrothermal systems that provide valuable information for interpreting the geological record using morphological and isotopic signatures."

Microbiology of ancient and modern hydrothermal systems. Reysenbach AL, Cady SL. Trends Microbiol. 2001 Feb;9(2):79-86.
Comment in: Trends Microbiol. 2001 Jun;9(6):259-60.

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