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Slime through time: the fossil record of prokaryote evolution

Slime through time: the fossil record of prokaryote evolution
Slime through time: the fossil record of prokaryote evolution
Prokaryota in natural environments form biofilms, which are benthic assemblages of a variety of microorganisms embedded within their extracellular mucilage. Biofilms are firmly attached to surfaces such as aquatic sediments. Quorum sensing by the many microbes in a biofilm is collective decision making and cooperation for responding to internal and external parameters affecting the community. This communication is based on chemical signaling affecting gene expression of the microorganisms. Microorganisms situated in a biofilm change behaviors and metabolic activities to comply with the requirements of the entire biofilm cooperative. Consequently, reconstruction of the evolution of prokaryotes in Earth history must consider the biofilm way of microbial life. Biogenic sedimentary structures might not represent certain microbial groups, but in fact may be relics of modified cooperative microbial activities. Future research should focus on detectable biosignatures caused by biofilm consortia as a whole instead of on the appearance or extinction of individual microbial groups. Such sedimentary structures as stromatolites and microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS) are intrinsically controlled by biofilms, but also affected by extrinsic (environmental) conditions.
0883-0351
1-5
Noffke, N.
982e0bbb-0d4b-4f74-b764-1b787a543043
Decho, A.W.
f936d8cb-a715-4b30-be75-11f2d76e7c12
Stoodley, P.
08614665-92a9-4466-806e-20c6daeb483f
Noffke, N.
982e0bbb-0d4b-4f74-b764-1b787a543043
Decho, A.W.
f936d8cb-a715-4b30-be75-11f2d76e7c12
Stoodley, P.
08614665-92a9-4466-806e-20c6daeb483f

Noffke, N., Decho, A.W. and Stoodley, P. (2013) Slime through time: the fossil record of prokaryote evolution. Palaios, 28 (1), 1-5. (doi:10.2110/palo.2013.SO1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Prokaryota in natural environments form biofilms, which are benthic assemblages of a variety of microorganisms embedded within their extracellular mucilage. Biofilms are firmly attached to surfaces such as aquatic sediments. Quorum sensing by the many microbes in a biofilm is collective decision making and cooperation for responding to internal and external parameters affecting the community. This communication is based on chemical signaling affecting gene expression of the microorganisms. Microorganisms situated in a biofilm change behaviors and metabolic activities to comply with the requirements of the entire biofilm cooperative. Consequently, reconstruction of the evolution of prokaryotes in Earth history must consider the biofilm way of microbial life. Biogenic sedimentary structures might not represent certain microbial groups, but in fact may be relics of modified cooperative microbial activities. Future research should focus on detectable biosignatures caused by biofilm consortia as a whole instead of on the appearance or extinction of individual microbial groups. Such sedimentary structures as stromatolites and microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS) are intrinsically controlled by biofilms, but also affected by extrinsic (environmental) conditions.

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Published date: January 2013
Organisations: Engineering Science Unit

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 347944
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/347944
ISSN: 0883-0351
PURE UUID: 421d1e54-4645-4a1a-967b-cc1e5d4281ea
ORCID for P. Stoodley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6069-273X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 May 2013 08:13
Last modified: 03 Dec 2019 01:42

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