Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere

, Volume 28, Issue 4–6, pp 515–521

Photosynthesis and the Origin of Life

  • Hyman Hartman
Article

Abstract

The origin and evolution of photosynthesis is considered to be the key to the origin of life. This eliminates the need for a soup as the synthesis of the bioorganics are to come from the fixation of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. No soup then no RNA world or Protein world. Cyanobacteria have been formed by the horizontal transfer of green sulfur bacterial photoreaction center genes by means of a plasmid into a purple photosynthetic bacterium. The fixation of carbon dioxide is considered to have evolved from a reductive dicarboxylic acid cycle (Chloroflexus) which was then followed by a reductive tricarboxylic acid cycle (Chlorobium) and finally by the reductive pentose phosphate cycle (Calvin cycle). The origin of life is considered to have occurred in a hot spring on the outgassing early earth. The first organisms were self-replicating iron-rich clays which fixed carbon dioxide into oxalic and other dicarboxylic acids. This system of replicating clays and their metabolic phenotype then evolved into the sulfide rich region of the hotspring acquiring the ability to fix nitrogen. Finally phosphate was incorporated into the evolving system which allowed the synthesis of nucleotides and phospholipids. If biosynthesis recapitulates biopoesis, then the synthesis of amino acids preceded the synthesis of the purine and pyrimidine bases. Furthermore the polymerization of the amino acid thioesters into polypeptides preceded the directed polymerization of amino acid esters by polynucleotides. Thus the origin and evolution of the genetic code is a late development and records the takeover of the clay by RNA.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alam, J., Curtis, S., Gleason, F. K., GeramiNejad, M. and Fuchs, J. A.: 1989, Journal of Bacteriology 171, 162.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Awramik, S. M.: 1992, Photosynthesis Research 33, 75.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Blankenship, R. E.: 1992, Photosynthesis Research 33, 91.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Buchanan, B. B.: 1992, Photosynthesis Research 33, 147.Google Scholar
  5. Eherenreich, A. and Widdel, F.: 1994, Applied and Environmental Microbiology 60, 4517.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Eisenreich, W., Strauss, G., Werz, U., Fuchs, G. and Bacher, A.: 1993, Eur. J. Biochem. 215, 619.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Granick, S.: 1957, Ann NY Acad Sci, 69, 292.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Hartman, H.: 1975, J. Mol. Evol. 4, 359.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Hartman, H.: 1984 in MicrobialMats; Stromatolites, Y. Cohen et al. (eds.), Alan Liss Inc., New York.Google Scholar
  10. Hartman, H.: 1992, Photosynthesis Research 33, 171.Google Scholar
  11. Hartman, H., Syvanen, M. and Buchanan, B. B.: 1990, Mol. Biol. Evol. 7, 247.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Ivanovsky, R. N., Krasilnikova, E. N. and Fal, Y. I.: 1993, Arch Microbial. 159, 257.Google Scholar
  13. McKay, C. P. and Hartman, H.: 1991, Origins Life Ecol. Biosphere 21, 157.Google Scholar
  14. Schidlowski, M.: 1988, Nature 333, 313.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyman Hartman
    • 1
  1. 1.IASBBerkeleyU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations