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Journal Articles Science Advances Year : 2017

Cryogenian evolution of stigmasteroid biosynthesis


Sedimentary hydrocarbon remnants of eukaryotic C 26-C 30 sterols can be used to reconstruct early algal evolution. Enhanced C 29 sterol abundances provide algal cell membranes a density advantage in large temperature fluctuations. Here, we combined a literature review with new analyses to generate a comprehensive inventory of unambiguously syngenetic steranes in Neoproterozoic rocks. Our results show that the capacity for C 29 24ethyl-sterol biosynthesis emerged in the Cryogenian, that is, between 720 and 635 million years ago during the Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth glaciations, which were an evolutionary stimulant, not a bottleneck. This biochemical innovation heralded the rise of green algae to global dominance of marine ecosystems and highlights the environmental drivers for the evolution of sterol biosynthesis. The Cryogenian emergence of C 29 sterol biosynthesis places a benchmark for verifying older sterane signatures and sets a new framework for our understanding of early algal evolution.
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hal-01919360 , version 1 (08-01-2021)


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Yosuke Hoshino, Aleksandra Poshibaev, William Meredith, Colin Snape, Vladimir Poshibaev, et al.. Cryogenian evolution of stigmasteroid biosynthesis. Science Advances , 2017, 3 (9), ⟨10.1126/sciadv.1700887⟩. ⟨hal-01919360⟩
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