By Tom Fenchel

ISBN-10: 0198548389

ISBN-13: 9780198548386

This learn explores the ordinary historical past of oxygen-free environments and their microbial population. existence originated within the pre-oxic international, and anoxic stipulations nonetheless persist in lots of areas in the world similar to lake sediments, the heart of ruminants, and the deep waters of a few marine basins. The authors draw on proof from geology, biochemistry, ecology, and evolutionary systematics to explain the forces which form the constitution, functionality, heterogeneity, and evolution of anaerobic groups, and in addition to debate the character of youth on the earth.

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Additional resources for Ecology and Evolution in Anoxic Worlds (Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution)

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1 Anaerobic metabolism : fermentation The most obvious impact of fermentation in the contemporary world is on human and animal nutrition. The community of fermenting microbes living in the forestomach of herbivorous mammals is completely responsible for decomposing grass and other plant material to the fatty acids on which the host depends for growth; and wood-eating termites would find life im­ possible without fermenting microbes providing the same service in their hindguts. g. the production of yoghurt and cheese, and the production of wine and other alcoholic beverages).

7 Propionate fermentation While there are obvious energetic advantages in channelling as much as possible of the fermentation pathway to acetate, it is rarely possible that this can be the sole end product and various other compounds must be used as sinks for reducing power. g. S0rensen et al. 1 98 1). One species (P. acnes) is probably responsible for the inflammation of hair follicles which takes the same name. Others give the characteristic flavour to Swiss cheeses. But perhaps the most important economically are those which live in the rumen of cattle and sheep: the propionibacteria take lactate, a major fermentation product, and ferment it further to propionate and acetate.

Leventhal 1 983). The extraction and identification of different types of biological molecules ('biomarkers'), which are specific for certain taxonomic or functional groups of organisms, faces many difficulties and some of the earlier work is probably suspect because of the prevalence of artefacts and contamination. 7 billion-year-old deposits (Schopf and Klein 1 992). The main conclusion based on the available evidence concerning Precam­ brian environments and biota is that practically all of the basic evolution in terms of biochemistry and types of energy metabolism, had taken place earlier than 3 .

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Ecology and Evolution in Anoxic Worlds (Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution) by Tom Fenchel


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