Cyanobacteria

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

[Proterozoic history and present state of cyanobacteria]

Entrez PubMed: "The paper delves into the main regularities of the distribution of fossil microorganisms in Precambrian rocks, beginning from the Archean Eon about 3.5 billion years ago and ending in the Cambrian Period about 0.5 billion years ago. The paper analyzes facial peculiarities in the lateral differentiation of microfossils in Proterozoic basins and the main stages of temporal changes in fossil cyanobacterial communities, which are based on the irreversible succession of physicochemical conditions on the Earth and the evolution of eukaryotic microorganisms and their incorporation into prokaryotic ecosystems. To gain insight into Proterozoic fossil records, modern stratified cyanobacterial mats built up from layers of prokaryotes are considered. The analysis of phosphatization, carbonatization, and silification processes in modern algal-bacterial communities suggests that analogous processes took place in Proterozoic microbiotas. A comparison of modern and Precambrian living forms confirms the inference that cyanobacterial communities are very conservative and have changed insignificantly both morphologically and physiologically during the past two billion years."

[Article in Russian] Sergeev VN, Gerasimenko LM, Zavarzin GA. [Proterozoic history and present state of cyanobacteria] Mikrobiologiia. 2002 Nov-Dec;71(6):725-40.

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