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  4. Origin of complex life's secret may lie deep in pacific ocean mud

Origin of complex life's secret may lie deep in pacific ocean mud

Researchers believe that a blob-looking microbe with tentacles, found deep down in Pacific Ocean mud, that may hold the secrets about how the first multicellular life-forms evolved. 

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Published on: January 18, 2020 12:19 IST
pacific ocean, complex life, microorganism, pacific ocean mud, life, existence of life, Life existen
Image Source : AP

Origin of complex life's secret may lie deep in pacific ocean mud

Researchers believe that a blob-looking microbe with tentacles, found deep down in Pacific Ocean mud, that may hold the secrets about how the first multicellular life-forms evolved. These microorganisms are believed to be the ones that lead to the emergence of more complex life-forms called eukaryotes, after their evolution over the years. Years before the existence of complex organisms, simple single-celled organisms - archaea and bacteria existed which began to evolve between 2 billion and 1.8 billion years ago and formed eukaryotes, a group that includes humans, animals, plants, and fungi. 

This research will let scientists know about the incredible journey over which life transitioned from swimming blobs to walking. Earlier, scientists had hypothesized that a group of microbes called Asgard archaea were the much-sought ancestors of eukaryotes because they contain similar genes to their complex counterparts. To study how the transition and structure, a group of researchers collected and analyzed mud from the bottom of the Omine Ridge off the coast of Japan, for a decade. According to the New York Times report, the initial purpose was to find microbes that eat methane and that might be able to clean up sewage. 

The researchers preserved the mud samples in a special bioreactor in the lab with the microorganisms in them to create conditions of the habitable deep sea. Years later, they began to isolate the microorganisms within the samples. They discovered that their samples contained a previously unknown strain of Asgard archaea after which they decided to analyze it and grow it in the lab. 

They named the newly found strain of Asgard archaea Prometheoarchaeum syntrophicum after the Greek god Prometheus, who is said to have created humans from the mud. The archaea were relatively slow growers, only doubling in number every 14 to 25 days. Their analysis confirmed that P. syntrophicum had a great number of genes that resembled those of eukaryotes.

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